Jaya (Parvathy) is a widow in her mid-30s who happens to meet Yogi (Irrfan Khan) via a dating site. While Jaya is shy and reserved, Yogi is energetic, confident and extremely straightforward. He brags about how his exes and claims that they would still be pining for him and when Jaya expresses her doubts regarding the same, Yogi challenges her to prove it otherwise. As a result, he asks her to join him on a trip to meet his ex-girlfriends. Though initially reluctant, Jaya finally agrees to give a company to Yogi on his trip.
How will the trip turn out? Will it create some sort of magic in between them or will two polar opposite characters realise that they aren’t meant for each other?
Positive Points: –
- Heartfelt performances by both the leads as well as their perfect chemistry pumps energy into the film.
- The first half of the film is breezy and brilliantly executed.
- The writing of the film has been pretty good and the dialogues are pretty sharp and wittily crafted.
- One interesting aspect of the movie is its exploration of female mood swings which I found were quite well presented.
Negative Points: –
- The second half becomes pretty sloppy and tiring as the story becomes more serious.
- There was no requirement of breaking the fourth wall in this film. It wasn’t bad to be true, but it wasn’t exciting either.
- Despite being well written, it’s execution has been somewhat reckless and at times poor even.
- It can be stated that Qarib Qarib Singlle showcases middle aged dating, but the complexity of the same is much deeper than what has been shown on the screen. I wished the makers had seen Enough Said before making this flick.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
I’m not quite impressed with Tanuja Chandra’s directional work although the slipshod execution is more prominent in the second half. What actually works in Chandra’s favour is the chemistry of the cast which made even a ridiculous comic scene (the sequence outside Anjali’s house after Yogi has dropped the former in her house) look fairly okay. The location of Anjali’s house was also poorly chosen and the way that sequence was executed was completely shoddy.
The film’s writing part by Kamna Chandra, Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal has been great and brownie points to the quirky dialogues of Dhaliwal. The characters get the perfect lines that they should be delivering as a result of which, the required punches get automatically delivered. It’s really sad that the execution couldn’t do much justice to such a wonderful paper-work.
Eeshit Narain’s cinematography was pretty absurd at times as we used to see some abrupt and unnecessary close shots with no significance. Chandan Arora’s editing is pretty nice. The music by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor is spot on with respect to the film’s premise.
Irrfan Khan’s USP is his ability to handle complex characters with sheer simplicity. Playing a character like Yogi isn’t much of an easy task but Khan never makes you feel the same. He effortlessly delivers a blinder and wins your heart even with his eccentric gimmicks.
Parvathy is a great actor without any doubt and I’m glad that she has stepped into Bollywood now. A talent like her shouldn’t be constricted to regional cinema alone and with the ease she has performed in the film, it’s evident that she is here to stay. If any aspiring actress (or even actor) is reading this, then do take a look at the acts of both Khan and Parvathy to understand how to do justice to your character without adding much glam-sham to it.
Neha Dhupia makes a gorgeous and important cameo in the film and does well with the small space that she is provided.
Final Verdict: –
Beyond the ambit of powerful acting, the best thing about Qarib Qarib Singlle is its attempt to do something fresh in the Indian rom-com arena. Even though it leaves a lot to ask for, it can make up a delightful watch for the weekend.