Friday, 7 February 2014

HASEE TO PHASEE :: Movie Review


Wrapped in bag of drama, chaos and amply quirky situations which will tickle your funny bone, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ is all about how love takes over all odds. Two people who are poles apart finally end up engaging their emotional chord is what keeps the audience engaged. No genre of cinema is as prolific and palliative as the Hollywood romcom—an index of our appetite for the quickie fairy tale. If the milieu is urban and somewhat damaged, it’s likely to prove more abiding on the multiplex screen. Director Vinil Mathew’s debut feature film, Hasee Toh Phasee, is a smart and winning feint of that formula. It is an extremely likable balance between light and shade, the sadness in his beautiful lead woman sitting happily alongside her smiles. The sugar is pleasingly granular.

SCRIPT & SCREENPLAY                      :          The story as well as screenplay of this flick has been penned down by Harshvardhan Kulkarni who deserves real accolades for chalking out some interesting characters in his storyline which is the basic strength of this movie. The detailing to each character strikes. They have professions, they have family and the story sails through both. You see the scientist Meeta blabbering jargons and talking in Mandarin with her Chinese colleague, Nikhil trying to get money for his event company, the families into their respective businesses... and behaving accordingly! Needless to say there are umpteen moments which will make you smile, wishfully. And that's apart from all those moments which will at least let a chuckle out of you, if not a laughter. The night Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) runs away from home, she has a fleeting encounter with Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra), who goes on to fall for her sister Karishma (Adah Sharma), a woman with porcelain skin and an hour-glass figure. After seven years, Nikhil is struggling to hit the professional jackpot with a contract that is somehow dependent on the Indian Premier League mania. Karishma insists that without money her marriage to Nikhil would be hopeless. Meeta returns, with a psychotic bluster about her, and Nikhil and Meeta build a friendship built on sympathy for each other’s little tragedies and quarrels with the world. There is a tragicomic unease from the moment Meeta appears in this suburbia of designer dreams. By the end, Nikhil calls Meeta a “phattu” (emotional coward in this context) and challenges her addiction to psychotropic pills. Thereafter, no force, even as big as the Gujarati conviction on monetary supremacy or the misplaced egotism of a retired police officer, can stop this couple from the happy-ever-after upshot. 

STARCAST                                                      :         Parineeti is at her best. She makes it virtually impossible for the audience's eye to waver from her when she is on screen. She plays two avatars - a druggie genius and a lovable girl next door - with class. Chopra adopts Meeta’s rough edges with a confidence that belies the work that has gone into it. The role is refreshingly free of jerky, over-the-top physicality. Meeta reaches her personal redemption—which is not necessarily the socially correct one—revealing the character’s innocence as well as selfishness scene by scene. Siddharth Malhotra surprises in his second film. He finds his own and manages to establish himself as someone who cannot be ruled out. Malhotra is the good-natured man, a black sheep in his own family, and not self-aware enough. Although he starts off by exhorting everybody to ‘shake it like Shammi’, his elegantly gangly gait and cool, confident screen presence are reminiscent of the mannerisms of the early Amitabh Bachchan. Adah Sharma is comfortable in her relatively smaller role and has managed to impress. The delights are the seasoned Sharat Saxena and Manoj Joshi. They have moments which take your heart away. After Jai Ho, you once again get to see Sameer Khakkar on screen. 

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                  :       The music for this flick has been composed by the seasoned duo of Vishal & Shekhar who have belted out some good numbers including a robust Punjabi wedding song. The various hues,shades of the locales have been captured by the lens of cinematographer Sanu John Varughese who has done a fairly descent job out of it. The movie has been edited by Shweta Venkat who has kept the length of the movie to 141 minutes and has done well as there are no major dull moments which could dampen the proceedings. Vinil Mathew who is an ad-film maker, has made his debut as a movie director with this flick and has proved his mettle by making an entertaining movie. He has invariably managed to get some freshness onto the big screen with his quirkiness. He has focused on effective, gimmick-free technicalities, and it is obvious the director is concerned largely with tapping his actors, and making performance the praxis of his film-making. 

CONCLUSION                                                   :       Hasee Toh Phasee, notwithstanding its rather unimaginative title and its muddled core, is a mildly diverting, if somewhat woolly-headed, entertainer held together by its unapologetically absurdist spirit. It definitely works out and is an interesting watch.

ROHIT SHARMA.
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