A lot of films, both Hollywood, Bollywood and elsewhere in the world, would be robbed of their central conceit. Hell, gimmicks are a significant part of Indian films, and you wouldn't get me to agree to this ban if it meant no Dhoom 3, or no Anniyan, or no Paa in the world, I just wouldn't allow it. And yet, when it comes to Hasee Toh Phasee, a movie that attempts at a frothy but heartfelt romantic comedy, I wonder if such a ban might be wise in the first place.
The story is simple: Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) is about to marry Karishma, despite all signs pointing to this being a bad idea. He discovers that a girl he met and bonded with shortly before meeting Karishma, Meeta (Parineeti Chopra), is in fact Karishma's sister, disowned by the family for various reasons. Now Meeta is back for the wedding, and Karishma asks Nikhil to make sure she's not seen by her side of the family, and thus wacky hijinks and an eventual budding romance ensue.
It doesn't particularly help that the movie relies on this character to really work, so when Parineeti Chopra's natural charm doesn't quite manage to come through in this performance, I wasn't quite as engaged with the movie as I was hoping to be. The second lead, Sidharth Malhotra, does okay, but he's no acting or charisma powerhouse at this point in his career, and so the resulting romance doesn't quite feel as touching as it might with a better cast or a less messy script.
However, if it works for you, it works, and this becomes a passable cutesy romcom with heart at the core of it. Some of the songs are great, while others are cringeworthy. I still wish, being a fan of Parineeti's, that they would've scaled back on the character a bit: while I appreciate the something new in the character, especially as female protagonists can be occasionally bland in terms of characterisation, there may have been some pieces missing, both in the scripting of the character and the performance.