Business rating: 3 / 5 stars
Star cast: Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra, Dipannita Sharma Atwal, Aditi Sharma.
What’s Good: The basic plotline; some con-game sequences; performances; music; song picturisations.
What’s Bad: The comparatively slow pace of the film; absence of clap-worthy con games and dialogues of one-upmanship.
Verdict: Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl neither charms greatly nor cons the audience. A plus fare!
Loo break: A couple in the second half.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for entertainment but don’t expect the moon.
Yash Raj Film Pvt. Ltd.’s Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl (UA) is the story of a charming conman who operates under different names. The conman (Ranveer Singh) charms young girls, wins their confidence and then cons them into giving him money. He then disappears with the money.
Three such girls – Dimple Chaddha (Parineeti Chopra), Raina Parulekar (Dipannita Sharma Atwal) and Saira Rashid (Aditi Sharma) – cheated by the conman, meet and decide to teach him a lesson and recover their Rs. 90 lakh in all – Rs. 10 lakh of Saira, Rs. 20 lakh of Dimple and Rs. 60 lakh of Raina’s boss. The basic plot is hatched by Raina, and as they go along, the two other girls also contribute to the game of conning the conman who had presented himself as Iqbal, Sunny and Dev before Saira, Dimple and Raina respectively.
First and foremost, Raina enlists the support of Ishika Desai (Anushka Sharma) who is a super-efficient salesgirl working in a departmental store. After tracing the conman to Goa, the four girls reach there. Ishika Desai checks in into a hotel as Ishika Patel, daughter of Himesh Patel, a rich hotelier in the USA. As per plan, Ishika makes it known to the conman, who now presents himself as Vikram Thapar, the owner of a water sports firm, that she is in Goa to buy land for a restaurant she intends opening as the first of a chain of restaurants. Seeing a potential victim in Ishika, Vikram begins to impress her with the ultimate aim of duping her and making good with her money as is his wont. He doesn’t know that Ishika is acting on behalf of his three earlier victims and is actually out to con him.
Slowly but surely, Ishika manages to get Rs. 45 lakh out of Vikram by promising him partnership in her proposed business. With Rs. 45 lakh still left to recover from the conman, the three girls move further in their plan. Even as the plan is being unfolded, Vikram and Ishika fall in love with one another. Or is this also part of the con game?
Do the three girls get the balance Rs. 45 lakh back? Or are they duped again by the conman? Or is Ishika also into conning the three girls?
Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Review: Script Analysis
Aditya Chopra’s story is a simple tale of a conman using his charm to make quick money and how his victims join forces to get back at him. Devika Bhagat and Habib Faisal have penned a screenplay which is enjoyable and entertaining in some portions but dragging and boring in others. Probably, since the pace of the drama is slow, it gives the viewer time to think, which prompts him to discover the weak points and drawbacks of the screenplay. For instance, all the three victims are conned by the conman so easily that it would appear that they were very dumb and deserved to be duped, which, of course, is not the intention of the writers. The ease with which the victims fall prey to the conman’s games also takes away the thrill element of the con drama, to some extent at least. In particular, the track of conman Dev selling an M.F. Hussain painting to Raina for her office looks rather unbelievable. For that very reason, this is also the most boring track of the film. Another weak point: each of the three victims hears the Baazigar dialogue caller tune on the conman’s mobile phone only when she/her family is duped, which gives the impression that the conman uses this caller tune to only convey that the victim has been cheated; yet, the three victims hear this very caller tune when they are trying to trace the conman, and actually locate him in Goa, thanks to this caller tune. Why would the conman have this caller tune while he is supposedly waiting for his next victim in Goa? And if this is his regular caller tune, why is each victim shown to be alarmed at understanding that she has been royally cheated, only on hearing this caller tune? In other words, if this were his regular caller tune, why does each victim behave as if the caller tune were meant to pass on the message to her that she has been fooled, duped and cheated?
The interactions between Vikram Thapar and Ishika Patel are not as thrilling and exciting as they ought to have been. Of course, the land deal towards the end brings in that much-needed excitement. The love track has been intelligently woven in the drama by the writers. What also keeps the interest alive in portions which aren’t otherwise very exciting are Dimple’s rants and the songs and song picturisations. Dialogues, penned by Habib Faisal, should have been more punch-packed. But it must be said that the dialogues he has written for Dimple Chaddha and for Ishika are rather entertaining as well as meaningful. What is missing in the dialogues is the excitement of one-upmanship in the second half.
Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Review: Star Performances
Ranveer Singh acts with effortless ease and plays the conman very ably. He is also suitably different and restrained in the romantic portions. His dances are excellent. But, in spite of the fact that his is the central character in the drama, there is not a single scene for him which could have made his performance brilliant or memorable. Anushka Sharma also does a very fine job. She looks glamorous and her bikini scene will be loved by the youngsters. Her dances are superb. Of the three other girls, Parineeti Chopra is undoubtedly the best. She has the best role, the best lines and hers is the best performance among the three. In fact, she provides a lot of light moments in the first half and, more importantly, in the second half too. Dipannita Sharma Atwal is good. Aditi Sharma delivers a restrained performance as is the need of the character she plays. Dimple Shaw Chauhan is okay as Mrs. Chaddha. Shireesh Sharma leaves a mark in the role of Mr. Chaddha. Avijeet Dutt is okay as Raina’s boss. Dr. Rishad Rizvi plays Saira’s considerate father-in-law effectively. Neetu Jhanji is alright as her mother-in-law. Imtiaz Ahmed shines as waiter Shankar.
Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Review: Direction & Music
Director Maneesh Sharma has handled the con drama very well. Despite not having the best script, he has been able to keep the audience interest alive throughout the drama. His characterisations are very good and he doesn’t let his characters waver. Salim – Sulaiman’s music is a major asset of the film. All the four songs – Jazba, Jigar ka tukda, Adat se majboor and Thug le – are extremely well-tuned. Song picturisations (three songs by Vaibhavi Merchant, and Thug le by Shruti Merchant) are excellent and deserve distinction marks. In fact, the songs and the choreography will attract the youngsters a great deal. Aseem Mishra’s cinematography is first-rate. Namrata Rao’s editing is sharp. Sets are good. Production values are of a nice standard. Technically, a polished product.
Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl is a fair entertainer which will fetch returns for the producers and the distributors. It neither charms greatly nor cons the audience because it has its highs and lows. Around 60-70 per cent of the total investment of approximately Rs. 25 crore would come from non-theatrical sources like satellite, audio and video.
Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Trailer
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