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Suprotim Sengupta
Writer


























Movie Review
Meri Pyaari Bindu:They got the Bindu (dot/zero) part right!


Who in their right mind walks on a beach promenade in stilettoes?? This is that kind of movie!

‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ needs ‘Mera Pyaara Google,’ in other words, a road map! The script is so jerky and the romance so pallid that I wondered for the nth time why I was letting my life flash by me in this futile attempt to get entertained by yet another average Yash Raj Films production. Writer Suprotim Sengupta proves how easy it is to churn out a film script nowadays (sic!) especially when you have a powerhouse like YRF backing you. This script does away with a lot of unnecessary angles – boy meets girl? Simple – they grow up as neighbours. Storyline? Simple – shared love of Asha Bhonsle-Mohammed Rafi songs and the evergreen Kishore Kumar yodel “meri pyaari Bindu” puncturing the proceedings ever so often. And then you toss all ingredients nicely with thaan-thaan-thaan flashbacks that shed no light whatsoever on the resultant confusion. Oh and there are entire scenes with references to Big Boss – methinks bhai (Salman Khan) is being considered for the next YRF project!

Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushman Khurrana) is a banker turned novelist, who has pretty much been in love with his south Indian neighbour Bindu Shankarnarayanan (Parineeti Chopra) since they were chaddi-buddies. Apparently she has always wanted to be a singer but isn’t great shakes at it. Much ado about nothing later, she discovers she too has feelings for him, however, when he actually pops the question, she realizes she still needs to find herself: “I can’t do this. It’s too much.” Bas ji, angrezi jhaad di; the words have no context to the scene and Parineeti is unconvincing. (Incidentally, this paragraph is 2.5 hours of MPB in a nutshell!)

Suddenly, in the last twenty minutes of the movie, Bindu changes from this hep girl in shortie skirts and barely-there tees to be a saree-clad woman with waist-length hair. This makeover is meant to tell us she is now a wife and mommy. Abhimanyu is still going around with this soppy look on his face – which has been his default expression through the movie – even though his pyaari Bindu now has a child by another man, and then everybody dances around in the rain feeling happy-happy.

Speaking about everybody, the ensemble cast manages to pull its act together later, although the first family scene when Abhimanyu comes back to Calcutta is too contrived and forced. There’s a lot of nonsensical stuff about him lending his car out to his friends for a quick roll on the backseat. Also, I can see no reason why Ayushman has a towel scene to himself, except to let the audience know that he too hits the gym occasionally. And why in heaven’s name is he tweezing his eyebrows? Gross! Reminiscent of ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ where he piggy-backed Bhumi Pednekar, he does it now with Parineeti; seems suspiciously as though producer Aditya Chopra is treating this like his lucky charm!

Bear with me while I seemingly go off-tangent, but perhaps Aditya should give in and pen his autobiography, which will bring home to him the disappointing truth that book agents are nothing like the moron in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu!’

Uff, the golden melodies. The eternal ‘abhi na jaao chhod kar’ makes its haunting lilt felt ever so often, although sung by Parineeti Chopra. Bappida’s eminently hummable, ‘yaad aa raha hai tera pyaar’ also has pride of place. Actual music for this film is by Sachin-Jigar and only serves to remind you ki kavitha ko taal aur sur sirf Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Shankar-Jaikishen, Ravindra Jain jaise shakhs adaa kar sakte the.

In my humble opinion, the movie does nothing more than highlight that yes, Parineeti Chopra has indeed lost weight (and, it seems, her spark) and that yes, she too can sing like big didi Priyanka. There is nothing resembling romance or the “hotness quotient” between the lead pair. Directed by Akshay Roy, MPB is a completely lackluster affair that really does nothing to redeem itself. Editing by Shweta Venkat Matthew is poor. Tushar Kanti Ray does an adequate job behind the lens, but barely skims the magic of Calcutta.

One is not quite sure where Aditya Chopra is headed, taking Yash Raj Films along with him. Earlier, movies were made keeping the cow-belt in mind; now it is the BMW seatbelt that is the focus! There’s too many English dialogues, kissing scenes and overt references to sex. The mystery and gentleness of the love stories of yesteryears truly seems to have become a thing of the past. While Aditya’s ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ ‘Mohabbatein’ and ‘Rabb Ne Bana Di Jodi’ were not of Yashji’s flowing chiffons variety, there was an undeniable romance and “real-ness” to the characters, which is sadly missing in his latter, puerile fare like ‘Befikre’ and now ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu,’ leading one to believe that papa had a lot to do with keeping a check on beta’s baton. Aditya may think he is trying to relate to changing times and today’s youth but, I assure you, having your beloved pepper her dialogues with “bastard’ and other such charming epithets should make any romance fall on its face with a thump!

Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra – all these girls are interchangeable. They all look alike; same make-up, same gym routine, same style clothes. And all of them want to sing in their movies; earlier, the heroine replaced the vamp and now she is doing away with the playback singer! Sigh. ‘Tis the Age of Cloning.



   Punam Mohandas

Punam Mohandas is a journalist and author who is also a film buff, accomplished travel writer and an expert on South Asia. She also writes columns on film personalities. She has lived and worked in India, Dubai and Bangkok.

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