Two insomniacs meet. They fall in love and finally find sleep. In process people around find their own missing peace. That could be a brief on Shaandar. Of course director Vikas Bahl, who touched fame when he delivered the magnificent Queen, adds a lot more to this brief. Shaandar by far is his biggest dream yet. A rather expensive one. And may I tell you, an expense he might find hard to get past.
There are too many things not okay with this 'dream' of a film. For one, it has a rather disjointed screenplay. So random that it hardly makes sense beyond those momentary smiles.
Shaandar actually starts well. In rather pleasing animation, charting the beginning of this story. And animation and special effects are used time and again throughout the film. Most of the animation shows that there has been a lot of care taken to make Shaandar look good. It's top class. Then there is a regular dose of humour, primary splashed through a rather inimitable chemistry between Shahid Kapoor and his real life father Pankaj Kapur. In fact most actors do a great job. Alia is adorable. Sanah Kapoor does well in her debut. Even Sanjay Kapoor is fun. Plus it is great to see Sushma Sheth, as the authoritarian head of a business family.
But the good things end there. Beyond this, it is a rather pain to sit through Shaandar. Especially if you go in to the theaters keeping the brilliant Queen in mind, and expecting the director to create magic again. Compared to his two previous gems, Vikas seems completely clueless as to how he wants to take things ahead. Like a fellow member of the audience remarked at interval, "It is confusing. It is not a comedy, it's not a romance, and it is not drama." I hoped the second half would get better. Alas!
There are, what seems like scores of, unwanted songs. Okay, they were shot really beautifully and choreographed well too.
In essence, the story is told almost like a Disney musical. It is grand and looks beautiful. You might almost suspect that it could be Sooraj Barjayta at the helm. Nah, not quite!
By the end I think I figured Vikas's motive. He wanted to establish he is the audience's one true love. He could put you to sleep. A peaceful & 'shaandar' sleep. Like his protagonist do to each other. Just one catch - I prefer sleeping on my bed, not a theater seat.
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