Shaandaar which was supposed to be the most grandeur work of director Vikas Bahl has turned out to be his most tepid work till date and is quite Un(Shaandaar) in stark contrast to its title. I felt so restless while watching this movie that i felt i needed some fresh air. Trust me, I have watched worse, really and even survived the ordeal of watching them. I survived Katti Batti, Welcome Back, even Mr. X in 3D. But this one beats all of them to a frigging punch. 20 minutes into the movie and I was like...WTF (Pardon my language). 1 hour into the movie and I could watch several members from audience making their way out of the audi of the multiplex. Thankfully, interval flashes on screen and the reviewer in me cajoles me to remain seated with the hope that things might improve in the second half. Post interval, I am still fiddling with my smartphone checking out & replying to my WhatsApp messages. Simultaneously, I am scratching my head thinking as to how, why and for whom this movie got made.....perhaps, only the makers could answer my queries. Reason being, I went in to watch this movie with huge expectations. And, why not, when you have experienced, established production houses like Dharma Productions & Phantom backing this project, a talented, versatile director Vikas Bahl helming this flick and some really good actors like Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapoor featuring in the movie. But, what you get to see on-screen is a supposedly fairy tale with lot of animation thrown in getting killed by cinematic cliches and all its jokes falling flat. Anyone who has seen Vikas Bahl's Queen would have expected Shaandaar to be a delightful movie, given that he was provided with bigger glossy canvas to play with courtesy Dharma Productions but no one would have even thought that Vikas will make such a mess of it with such a drastic drop in storytelling and directorial skills.
The story has been written by Vikas Bahl and Chaitally Parmar and the dialogues have been penned down by Anvita Dutt (all of whom were part of writing Queen). Shaandaar is one of the most mind-numbing stories, sorry, did I say stories ? Damn, that will be misleading. Because there is neither any story nor any screenplay. There are only banal sequences, funny, only to the writer/director. The supposedly fairy-tale has two nocturnal s i.e. two creatures (let me have the liberty to call them creatures) who can't sleep at night in the form of Alia (Alia Bhatt) & Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor) who meet and eventually find solace in each other's company. The story features two families i.e. Aroras and Fundwanis who are bankrupt and decide to get their kids married to save their sinking ships , oblivious about the financial condition of each other. But, the kind of designer costumes, stretch limos, expensive jewellery and the lavish destination wedding they organize makes you ponder that if this is the lifestyle that bankrupts live with, let me be a bankrupt soon. To add to your woes, there are several other caricatures apart from the 2 insomniacs in the form of characters. There is a gold loving Sindhi who is always boasting about his connections, his younger brother who has precisely eight and a half pack abs and is the groom There is a maha Khadoos granny for whom marriages are simply business deals and her goatee bearing son who has adopted a girl child who is insomniac. He also has a biological daughter who is a real fatso having no qualms about it and is the bride. There is no coherent storyline in the movie and it looks as if several scenes have been stitched together to make and present this film to the audience. Save me from the ordeal of jotting down the plot of this film for you.
The only saving grace of this movie is the performances by its actors. Shahid Kapoor has effortlessly portrayed the character of Jagjinder Joginder who is an insomniac but an able wedding planner & organizer. He not only looks handsome but tries his level best to keep you entertained with his acting mettle and dancing skills. Alia Bhatt has really evolved as an actress and her performance in Shaandaar is a prima facie example of this. She truly lives her part in the movie proving her prowess as an actress. She has enacted her part with utmost sincerity and confidence. There is no denying the fact that Pankaj Kapoor is one of the finest, versatile actors that we have today and he proves it in Shaandaar with his impeccable performance. Though, his character has been shoddily written but he still breathes life unto his character with his own signature style of acting. His frequent banters with Shahid Kapoor (his real life son) lend some plausible moments to the film. The film also marks the debut of third Kapoor i.e. Sanah Kapoor ( Pankaj's daughter & Shahid's sister in real life). Sanah has effectively portrayed the character of a obese bride whose weight makes her the butt of many people's jokes. Sanjay Kapoor has essayed the caricaturish character of a typical Sindhi who is always boasting about his connections with aplomb.
As a director, Vikas Bahl has proven his forte in the past by directing two diverse flicks i.e.Chillar Party & Queen. While the first was a children's movie, the second was centered around a female protagonist who wants to break free and explore herself. Both of Vikas Bahl's previous flicks belonged to different genres. So probably, he wanted to break fresh ground with his third outing but has completely failed this time. Weak storyline (or simply lack of storyline) coupled with sloppy editing has let him down badly. On a lighter note, I was wondering how will Vikas Bahl respond post the debacle of Shaandaar. At the very moment, I remembered a dialogue from the movie in which Alia Bhatt says to Pankaj Kapoor, "How Cool ! Main aapki naajayaz aulaad hoon". It immediately brought a smile to my lips and made me think whether Ajay Bahl will say, "Shaandaar, Meri naajayaz film hai". (It has been Ghost directed by someone else). The finesse and the potential of a director that Ajay showcased in his previous two flicks is totally missing from this film.
Shaandaar is a movie that can be skipped without any regrets, instead take your family for an outing this weekend. Trust me that will be a breeze in front of this nonsense that spools out mercilessly for 145 minutes.
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