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Jabariya Jodi movie review: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra’s dialoguebaazi is the only saving grace in this film

After multiple delays, Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra starrer Jabariya Jodi is finally hitting the screens this Friday at the ticket windows. The romantic comedy venture, which was earlier titled Shotgun Shaadi has been in the news since 2018 and was earlier slated to release on May 17, but to avoid clash with other films, the makers finally chose August 9 as the final date and the cherry on top is that it’s a solo release for the film. Even the trailer with its quirk and mass appeal managed to garner the right buzz. But is the Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra starrer worth the watch? Check out our review here!

What is it about:

Based on Pakadva Vivah that prevails in Bihar and some smaller town in India, Jabariya Jodi narrates the story of a thug (Abhay Singh) who kidnaps grooms in order to help them avoid paying out heavy dowries for their wedding. With the entry of the heroine, his whole ambition in life goes topsy-turvy.And not because he is madly in love but because inka focus “bistar se zyaada kursi pe hai”. What ensues though is a battle or hearts and the girl (Babli Yadav) turning the kidnapper.

What’s hot:

Sidharth steps into the role of Bihar ka goonda and pulls it off convincingly. Be it his flair in multi-coloured shirts and gamchas or the delivery with which he throws witty on-liners, Sid’s first rustic act deserves a pat. Even Parineeti does justice to her character with pitch-perfect diction and makes it seem effortless. SidNeeti’s chemistry is a treat to watch too. Slow claps are reserved for Aparshakti Khurana and Sanjay Mishra who light up the screen with their comic timing and punches.

What’s not:

The screenplay seems lazy and the editing, shoddy. Directed by Prashant Singh, the film wobbles at points and misses the plot more times than not. Especially the second half which beats around the bush for its entire duration without any plot device. The effort to soften the blow of social evils like dowry and forced marriage with comic intervention is note-worthy but debatable at best. And while Pari has caught hold of the accent, Sid’s is inconsistent. The film is also replete with one too many forgettable songs. Even the climax overstays its welcome with predictable sequences and dialogues.

Befikre quick movie review: Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor shine in Aditya Chopra’s sweet rom-com

Befikre steers far away from a typical Yash Raj Films love story and deals with both the past and the present of its protagonists.

The past:

Dharam — played by an ebullient Ranveer Singh — is a stand-up comedian from Delhi. Dharam moves to Paris, the city of love and creativity and artistic endeavour, to perform at a bar that’s called Delhi Belly.

Shyra — the very photogenic Vaani Kapoor — works in Paris as a tourist guide. She was born to Indian parents, but her character is depicted as being very French.

Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in a still from 'Befikre'

Dharam meets Shyra at a party: He’s desperately trying to get a girl to go home with him for the night; she dares him to meet a challenge; he wins [cue Hindi song playing at a French nightclub] and they go home to enjoy a wild romp.

They clearly have the kind of chemistry that’s the stuff of romcom lore, but Shyra — in a reversal of the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am trope, tells Dharam that she’s not interested in getting serious with him since she’s just been through a break-up. Fine, sex with no-strings-attached it is then.

So far, so good.

Of course, once is not enough and we see Dharam and Shyra embark on a wildly uninhibited relationship. As a throwback to their first meeting, Shyra keeps setting Dharam new dares and challenges. He fulfills them, and their spicy, somewhat kinky relationship moves forward. Finally, they decide that to live in together.

Cut to a different time, and we see Dharam and Shyra have come some distance from those first heady, explosive days. Now they’re in the apartment they share, hurling abuses at each other — the argument takes an ugly turn and they decide to part ways.

The present:

Can two individuals who’ve shared a past navigate new ground as friends? This is what Dharam and Shyra must confront in their present.

That they get to do this against the scenic backdrop of Paris is a huge bonus. Aditya Chopra has chosen some breathtaking settings as the location for his latest film, and as an viewer, one is glad for that.

What about the actors though? Do they match up to Paris?

Ranveer Singh makes for a perfect Dharam. He’s the quintessential Delhi brat who adapts quickly to life in Paris, and proves yet again why he’s considered among the most versatile actors of his generation. Vaani has a job keeping up, but is able to deliver what the role requires. Most of the first half is given over to visuals of the couple making out. (We’re not complaining.)

It helps that Befikre keeps things breezy and light during the first half. Fun and humour are sprinkled liberally throughout the first half and you’re ensured a feel-good time.

But does it also feel — well, frivolous?

Is there more to this film than its good looks?

Ranveer plays Dharam, while Vaani Kapoor is Shyra in Befikre'

***

Post-interval, we’re back in our seats, and ready to watch more of Dharam and Shyra’s adventures unfold. And boy! do they not disappoint.

Now far too many films of late have fallen prey to ‘the curse of the second half’. Everything’s hunky dory in the first, but after the interval, boom! the film loses its plot.

Surprise, surprise — Befikre does not suffer from this fate.

In fact, its second act lifts Befikre to a more beautiful level.

What do Dharam and Shyra get up to in the second half? We left them, dealing with a break-up, and trying to be ‘just friends’. The plot thickens when each of them gets into new romantic relationships. We can’t give more away other than saying, the duo has a lot to deal with.

[Spoiler alert] There’s an exceptional scene, set on a yacht where Ranveer Singh goes completely ‘befikre‘ and bares his derriere. And we’ll only say this: It is a sight to behold.

Does Befikre have a conventional happy ending? You’ll have to see the film to find out.

Does it any point seem clichéd? Yes, Dharam and Shyra’s journey, while fun, is hardly groundbreaking. But perhaps what works for Befikre, is that it does not try to be groundbreaking. Aditya Chopra’s first directorial venture in eight years plays to its strengths: It’s entertaining, beautiful and light.

When the Befikre trailer released, there were doubts over whether or not the film had more to it than seen in these promos. To be honest, there’s isn’t much else to the story beyond what’s seen in those trailers. But that’s not disappointing at all.

At a little over two hours, Befikre is short, sweet and a bonafide Bollywood rom-com.

Meet the male lead of Aditya Chopra’s next film ‘Befikre': Ranveer Singh

Trust Yash Raj Films to take making official announcements to the next level.

Aditya Chopra, Yash Raj’s head honcho, is a quiet man, with very rare public appearances. The last we heard, he was working on his next film titled Befikre and was compulsively searching for a suitable cast.

Chopra calls this film his “happiest, youngest and riskiest” one to date, and had been planning to make an announcement on the cast on Tuesday morning.

ranveer

So here it is: Ranveer Singh will play the male lead in Befikre. 

In a candid, emotional video uploaded on YRF’s youtube channel, Ranveer revealed this news, taking us all down memory lane.

The three minute video shot on the fourth floor of Yash Raj Films in Andheri, Mumbai, has Singh revealing that no less than five years ago he was at the same place, having been offered the biggest role of his life (his debut role in Band Baaja Baraat).

Sporting his Bajirao Mastani look, a nostalgic Ranveer tells us how, five years later, Aditya Chopra himself came out of his office to find Ranveer crying in happiness on being cast in Befikre, only to tell him, “Tu kar lega (you’ll do it)”

Watch the announcement video here: