Akiv Ali’s contemporary take on modern relationships makes you look at society in a different light
Its 21st Century. Times are changing. People are becoming more welcoming of things that were even recently considered taboo. While the society (read: urban society) is all game for a broader outlook, there’s still some uneasiness in accepting change. That’s precisely what De De Pyaar De is about, where while you accept there’s nothing wrong in a 50 year old middle aged man falling in love with a 26 year old young girl, you still don’t embrace the feeling. That’s exactly where the film finds it’s groove.
Ashish Mehra (Ajay Devgn) is a successful 50 year old man. Separated with his wife Manju (Tabu) and kids 18 years ago, he’s now fallen in love with Ayesha (Rakul Preet Singh), who’s half his age. So far so good. But they have a tough time seeking acceptance from the society including Ashish’s family.
The story is penned by the man who’s given the popular franchise Pyaar Ka Punchnama. Luv Ranjan’s story scores on the fact that it’s very much of today. Evolving times where the meanings of relationships are changing and compatibility is the real prerequisite, Ranjan has given food for thought. Full marks to the very much needed idea of the film itself that may not seem a good enough premise for a full-fledged film at first, but given the changes Bollywood is seeing, it calls for a film on-point.
While humor remains the biggest driving force in the screenplay by Ranjan, Tarun Jain, and Surabhi Bhatnagar, the underlying message of how society perceives such a relationship and what matters eventually is the family and close-ones is to watch out for. The film thus works at two levels where one part is very evident- the casual and funny portions; while the other asks you to take away the underlying notions on sensibility, emotions, and sticking to one’s beliefs.
The film also never goes cheap or slapstick, keeping the overall piece completely fit for family viewing- one biggest plus of the film. The overall approach comes from smart writing where the humor never overpowers what the makers want to convey. Live-in relationships and conservative outlook towards change is also being touched upon.
The film with all its positives caters only to the urban city audiences- the multiplex frequenting ones. Target is limited, approach is limited, reception too is limited. Look around you. The shift is difficult even in the upscale set-ups. Those residing in smaller towns are still far from accepting change, hence accepting the film’s plot.
Also, the film tends to lose focus in the second half where it delves too deep into family drama and takes the audience a bit away from the core idea. The writing could have been tighter here.
Ajay Devgn as always suits the role he’s into. He plays his age and gives the character correct maturity and even innocence. He’s too good to adore. He brings a certain sense of connect to the character where he plays everything with ease.
Tabu also has a well defined role and contributes well into the nuances of the plot. She’s a brilliant actress; proven time and again. Here also, she has a difficult role and but with her impeccable skills makes it look like a child’s play. There are also portions where you feel she’s routine. But those are the very scenes where she’s performed phenomenally, hence you feel she’s underplaying.
Rakul Preet is fantastic. She brings a charm to her character. She has layers in her character and has to her credit the finest written role among all the actors. She has a graph in her character and portrays every shade with utmost honesty. She is too good.
Alok Nath is very good too and after Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, he once again delivers his funny side, already a delight for audiences.
Javed Jaffrey in a brief role is good. Blame it on the writers here for not etching his character well. Jimmy Shergill is clearly underutilized. He has his moments but the audience wants more of him. Again, a disappointment from the makers’ side.
Music by an army of composers is good, not great though. There are a few songs that do give meaning to the plot. Hitesh Sonik’s score is nice. It changes its focus with the plot, a very good thing.
Cinematography by Sudhir Chaudhary is visually enticing. The colors are bright and vibrant and wherever the story goes, the camera makes sure you are visually engrossed. The framing is also done thoughtfully. Shashank Tere’s production design aids the camera well.
Editing by Akiv Ali is very impressive. With ample moments or fun and frolic, the film also incorporates depth and meaning at regular points.
Told in a casual manner, this tale of modern relationships is sure to entertain you and also leave you thinking. With absolutely nothing crass and cheap, the film is sensible. A good light hearted film. It is out rightly hilarious.