SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL ADI – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 24, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI, SUNIL A. LULLA
DIRECTOR – BELA SEHGAL
WRITER – SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI
CAST – BOMAN IRAN, FARAH KHAN, DAISY IRANI, SHAMMIJI, KURUSH DEBOO
MUSIC – JEET GANGULY
There is something very endearing in middle-aged romances. In a world where love comes with an expiry date, meant only for the youth, the idea that it can be found anytime is heart-warming. Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi takes this idea and makes it the central theme, carrying us through the love-story of two 40+ people in search of love.
Farhad (Boman Irani) owns a lingerie shop and at 45 is still looking for his dream girl. Simple and shy, this Parsi man lives with his rather authoritarian mother (a lovely Daisy Irani) and loving grandmother (the adorable Shammiji). Forty-yr old Shirin (Farah Khan) works as a secretary at Parsi Trust and is a no-nonsense, literally butt-kicking lady who hasn’t found her dream mate either. Both meet and Cupid strikes but the happy ending seems far away with Farhad’s mother playing spoilsport. Family feuds and misunderstands ensue and the question arises, of how the two lovers shall meet.
The film is an out and out love story, feel good and warm with dollops of humour peppering its way. But while it is cute to watch two middle-aged people acting teeny in love, there is a vacuous feeling surrounding their exploits; a vacuum that is a result of too much emphasis on spoof, making light truly cosy moments and a potentially touching story waiting to be told. After all, the central theme isn’t just about exploring the first flutters of the heart and new beginnings but also comes with the attendant insecurities, re-adjustments and so on that are a part of such an alliance. Debutante director Bela Sehgal and writer-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali choose not to touch any of these and in making the obstacle an external one- mere parental opposition, dilute its merit, leaving us with a candy-floss story that does little more than provide some occasional smiles.
A love story gets a good part of its soul from the characteristic differences within the personalities of the couple. To that effect Farhad is a shy and unassuming man and Shirin his opposite, a fiery and self-possessed lady. Their interactions and wooing take a nice tone when these differences are pitted against each other but as the rest of the film this remains superficial. Then do we end up really rooting for the two because we care so much? Not really?
In the race to probably balance the rather unusual love story and bring it into mainstream notice, the film emphasizes a bit too much on humour. The film uses the Parsi community setting merely as a backdrop, milking their idiosyncrasies for easy laughs, overdoing it and never allowing it to provide a flesh and blood context. The recent Ferrari Ki Sawaari or even the little known Little Zizou did it with a refreshing charm yet retaining the feel good quirkiness, telling us it is possible to do both.
Yet, among the rather loud and sometimes unseemly humour Boman Irani (no stranger to hamming himself), infuses a grace and sincerity that makes the film watchable. His reticent 45-yr old virgin who is a lamb in front of his mother and completely besotted by Shirin makes for a sweet experience. If only he was suitably partnered, the film could have ridden over its superficiality and become a bit more. Unfortunately, Farah Khan (a competent director and choreographer) fails her character and the film with a too casual and flat performance. The fact that her persona suits the role to the T and both she and Boman make a nice pair onscreen is resonant of the film’s surface approach to all things. They have a number of songs to play out their romance with and the music carries the off-beat tone but large chunks of it veer it into a dreamy, fluffy category that simply jars with the simplicity of the setting and story. It’s all very cute (maybe a bit loud) but far from being memorable while one just ends up wishing it was.