Monday, September 5, 2011

The Bunty and Babli of wedding planning.

Once upon a time there was a period when all the Cool KidsTM thought it was cool to rag on Yash Raj Films. Or maybe there was never such a time but simply a time when yours truly was overly defensive about the studio in question. They had done some tragically bad choices, which I won't even have to list for you to think about, but they had also given us the crack that is Dhoom, and gems like Fanaa, Bunty Aur Babli, Hum Tum, Chak De India to name a couple.

Essentially, I see Aditya Chopra's thinking: splash some new talent onto the screen, whether the talent is eventually judged to be good, mediocre, or talentless. There's also a certain gloss, a certain visual appeal, whether just in advertising, that YRF has a tendency to give its films.

So when I finally got around to watching Band Baaja Baarat, the colourful romcom about two youngsters who start a wedding planning business but promise not to complicate the business partnership with romance (and trust me, this is all the plot you need to know), not only was it a fun movie with a good cast, great songs, beautiful sets and all the works, it also felt like vindication that I was right all along. And that the Cool Kids were wrong. (Take that, Cool Kids! Not so cool anymore, are you?)

BBB certainly does all that I mentioned Aditya Chopra's end-game being. It introduces new talent in the director-writer Maneesh Sharma as well as the male lead Ranveer Singh. There is nothing radically new about the concept behind the film, but it is a lot of fun and it's a twist to the typical Bollywood fare, where the main characters are from such rich families that running dad ka business in a massive corporate office is a given, as is a foreign MBA. Just to see the heroes work, honest-to-god work, feels like a good change.

And they are delightful to watch, with the effortless chemistry and Anushka's character being so no-nonsense, and the standard useless hero gaining a work ethic even if his attitude with regards to other things only improves by the end of the film. But I fell in love with them, and when their heart breaks, mine does, too.

Almost every scene being either at a wedding or setting one up, the fun quotient is quite high. Makes you want to have a wedding of your own!

And speaking of heart-break, my biggest props of the whole film go to Anushka in this scene. Won't say any more about it to not spoil the poor souls who haven't seen this film yet but ..yeah. She was good.

If I was forced (not quite gun-to-the-head, maybe a baseball-bat-raised-over-laptop) to name something about this film that didn't quite work, I'd probably say the way that the ending resolution came about. It didn't fall apart, but it could've been better, but as it came about, I was just happy it did.

So very, very happy.


Ness said...

I certainly don't think I'm one of the "Cool Kids" - I love all the YRF movies you name and probably some of the ones that are regarded as hideous failures. But I CANNOT STAND this film! Okay I like the first half, for all the reasons you give, but the second half RUINS the entire film for me. It goes from happy, frothy romantic fun, to watching two people be miserable, sulky, and nasty to each other, and it drains all the colour and life that there was in the film until there is nothing left but a bitter taste. I know this puts me in the minority but the only part I can stomach from this film is Dum Dum - which is totally a lesson in how to launch a new face.

veracious said...

Ness, I kinda feel you there, I do. Because it certainly wasn't fun to watch. But I stuck it out because at that point the film had sold me everything: the characters, their personalities, the potential in their personalities to clash like this, and for it all to go from going so well to going so terribly for the two of them.

I guess my thinking is, this isn't just a love story but also a story about business, in a very fluffy way. You have to have the downs to have the ups. I confess a film like Rocket Singh was better in the "down" department but nevertheless, I enjoyed this one, too.

Mette said...

Was "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic" YRF? Maybe that's one of the reasons I used to trash YRF for some time. Oh ya, and then there's Neal N Nikki. Awful film.
But I was always open for some new awesome-ness from the Yash-Raj-camp, and BBB enchanted me right away. That scene with Anushka was so great - I mean, she showed that emotion so wonderfully, I just felt I was in her place.

anitarama said...

I've always been a loyal YRF fan. I liked Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Rocket Singh, Badmaash Company, Pyaar Impossible you name it! Then BBB came along and I was really excited to see a film the EVERYONE seemed to love, universally. Was definitely disappointed. :( Don't get me wrong, Anushka was amazing, Ranveer made a very respectable debut and the first half was wonderful, but the second half? Mostly irritating and aggravating to me. It was tough for me to get through. I mean, BBB is definitely more bearable than a LOT of films coming out right now, but still...I feel like the hype is strange considering I enjoy some of the less-appreciated YRF films much more.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the first half of the film was fun to watch but not the second half. Overall however, it was definitely a good film as atcing was good, especially by Anoushka and the director/editor did a good job of keeping the pace up-I wasn't bored. This disenchantment with the second half raises a question - how can a story/film depict the lead characters behaving badly enough to disenchant each other, but not badly enough to disenchant us, the viewers? How is that fine line defined? Wish I knew..