Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor
Director: Vikas Bahl
What’s Good: Acting performances, brilliant locations, overall
What’s Bad: Weak storytelling, dull scenes, frequent song sequences don’t move the story forward.
Loo Break: During the boring song
Watch or Not?: Fans of the lead pair can watch it. Fans of the director definitely skip it.
Shaandaar has been conceived by its makers as a fairy tale film of the kind Disney makes. They were seemingly convinced that the story they have come up with will be able to convey the same emotional fervour which flicks like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have been able to do in the past. But that’s not what you’re in for. This film is a showcase of grandeur and mind-blowing locations, which keeps finding some time to tell a story. It would have helped if the narrative was well realized, but more time has clearly been dedicated to displaying visual flair than to moving the audiences with a fairy tale. An adopted daughter of Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor), Alia Arora (Alia Bhatt) has fit into her new family easily despite the hatred towards her by her new mother and grandmother. Alia is a creature of the night; in the sense that she cannot sleep. Her father hopes that her insomnia will one day be cured by a man who will put her to bed. Enter Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor), a wedding planner who eventually succeeds in doing that. Get the reverse Sleeping Beauty angle here? The sub-plot involves Bipin’s evil mother who wishes to marry off his real daughter Isha (Sanah Kapoor) as part of a business deal with the overly flamboyant Sindhi tycoon played by Sanjay Kapoor. Despite keeping the fairy tale angle alive, this sub-plot fails at effortlessly tying itself up with the main plot. There’s no crispiness in the whole affair, as the storytelling is delayed time and again by unique and ambitious sequences (the director wants to make an impression with these) and songs that fail to move the story forward.
Shaandaar Review: Script Analysis
Like we said, Shaandaar tries hard to be a live action Disney movie. The script has been laced with all the elements needed for it to be one, but the lack of focus on storytelling results in a film that’s boring in most parts. The characters are pretty well thought out though, and they’re the saving grace for the film.
Shaandaar Review: Star Performance
Alia Bhatt effortlessly fits herself into the role of Alia Arora. Her underplayed emotions and her cute facial expressions add elegance to her scenes.
Shahid Kapoor neither impresses nor disappoints. His problem is that the script doesn’t have much to give to his character other than some heroic and some funny sequences.
Pankaj Kapur embodies a loving and caring father with the same ease with which he has played all his memorable roles. Sushma Seth is great with her role of the grandmother who’s hated by everyone. Sanah Kapoor as an overweight but confident Isha and Vikas Verma as her brash and narcissistic to- be husband make the most of their roles as well.
Shaandaar Review: The Last Word
Vikas Bahl it seems wants to establish himself as a versatile director. His first two outings (Chillar Party and Queen) were totally different from each other, apart from being really brilliant films. Shaandaar is different from his other flicks alright, but it’s far from being brilliant. Bahl’s scenes are seen falling flat most of the time, and he isn’t even able to whip out something to keep us captivated during the boring parts. He however succeeds in bringing out the best from his actors. He and the ever so impressive Anil Mehta deserve credit for capturing some jaw dropping locations as well. The film would have received a lot of help if some of its songs and unneeded sequences were chopped off, especially the cheesy bits like the Karan Johar cameo and the long and winding scene in which everyone gets accidentally drugged. The animated bits are uninspired and yet another attempt by Bahl to capture the fairy tale vibe.
Shaandaar releases on 22nd October, 2015.
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