Lately a common problem in all romantic movies is either they are too sugary, or too cliched or too stretched. In a scenario such as this, debuts Bela Sehgal with a usual plot and an equally unusual love story Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (SFKTNP). Whether this works for the masses or bites the dust remains to be seen. But for now a quick review of what this film is all about.
From the very first scene SFKTNP takes you into the Parsi colony showcasing their daily routine, life and behavioral quirks and easily transports you into their world. Within no time you are introduced to Farhad Pastakiya (Boman Irani), a 45 year old bachelor, who stays with his overloving mother Nargis Pastakiya (Daisy irani) and grandmother (Shammi). Nargis desperately wants his son to get married but he ends up getting rejected for his job profile, that of a salesman at Tem Tem Bra and Panty. But cupid strikes as the 40 year old Shirin Fuggawala (Farah Khan), secretary at the Parsi trust enters his life. However, just when his love ride takes off, Farhad's mother realizes that Shirin Fuggawala is her arch enemy. What happens to Shirin Farhad's love story follows through the rest of the plot.
Debutant director and sister of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bela Sehgal finally comes to fore with a story she had been nurturing for over a decade. And despite the passage of time the relatability of the topic doesn't quite cease. The story instantly strikes a chord with the audience as the middle-age romance not only comes across has endearing but heart-warming too. The way she delicately handles the topic of late marriage, middle-aged romance and the aftermaths is praiseworthy.
However, it's the execution of everything around the main plot that takes a hit. Bela dwells far too much into the bringing out the Parsi essence in the film by showcasing their idiosyncrasies but their buffoonery and tomfoolery doesn't quite make the viewer even smile leave along laugh. Moreover, they only occupy excess screen time making the film appear too stretched. Bela also dwells far too much on sequences which make them miss the punch. Moreover, the twist in the plot and especially the climax are far too predictable, cliched and unimpressive.
Her ace comes in her casting. Nothing gets better than having Boman Irani and Farah Khan in the lead of SFKTNP. Not only the two bring out brilliant chemistry together but do a fantastic job individually. Never before has Farah Khan been shot so beautifully. She easily strikes a chord with her chubby cuteness and Boman as a novice lover is just perfect for the role. Farah, however, appears taut in her acting in certain situations but overall carries her part with natural ease.
Music by Jeet Ganguly however could've been tad better. Cinematography by Mahesh Aney is beautiful and captures the essence of the film perfectly.
Over all, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi wouldn't be a flawless film but the minor flaws make it all the more believable. A must watch for Farah Khan and Boman Irani's brilliant chemistry. Middle-aged romance is possible after all!