Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai Hindi Movie Review
Care for a remix version of Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding? Yash Raj Films Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai is just that and brings a wedding with the onset of monsoon in India -- replete with songs, dances and marriage parties.
Director Sanjay Gadhvi seems to have created a similar frenzy of activity in a Punjabi household with relatives running in and out of rooms in gold-embroidered saris, embroidered kurtas with plates full of laddoos, spilling an all-round sweetness that wills suspension of disbelief.
Like any film from veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra's production house Mere Yaar... is an optical feast. The sets are opulent. The characters always well made. Sunil Patel's camera creates an eye-catching carpet of visuals.
The cosy atmosphere just doesn't allow one to question its absurdities.
Sanjay (Uday Chopra) and Ria (Bipasha Basu, illogically billed as a "special appearance" when she has a full-fledged role,) share the same flat. But whether it is a live-in relationship is not qualified.
What is revealed is that Sanjay and Ria are like two buddies, one soul.
Ironically, the film begins with the two pals musing over flirtatious Sanjay's latest heartbreak before India Gate and establishes the narrative's bantering and bubbly mood.
After some buddy, buddy talks between Sanjay and Ria, filmed in true American sitcom style, one finds out Sanjay isn't happy about his childhood friend Anjali's (debutant Sanjana) impending marriage.
And soon he is off to spoil his best friend's wedding.
But before the audience can think that the film is a Bollywood lift of Hollywood hit My Best Friend's Wedding, the hero is transported to a household teeming with frothy friends and relatives - suitably inspired by ace director Sooraj Barjatya's brand of one big happy Indian family.
Even as Sanjay tries to score points with blissfully happy Anjali under her fiancé's (Jimmy Shergil) eyes, the film with its cavalcade of family members including a loud superstitious aunt, a chronic bachelor uncle, sweet matriarch and of course the father-figure simply overpower with virtuous temptations.
At the centre of the film is Uday, playing an overgrown brat who believes in getting what he wants. He reminds one of the children's comic-character Dennis The Menace who can't tolerate to see anyone else's hand in the cookie jar.
Uday holds the film together with his mischievous buoyancy. Debutante Sanjana looks like a prettier version of yesteryear heroine Priya Rajvansh.
It is also heartening that the film doesn't portray Uday's rival as a cad or buffoon.
Jimmy with his scrubbed boy next-door looks suits the genteel NRI yuppie's role. His character suffers only when it's made to give longish speeches to give some seriousness to what's otherwise a peppy feel-happy comedy with tons of chutzpah and some surprisingly sensitive moments.
Even then Gadhvi's film is finally nothing more than an extended celebration where real life tussles don't seem to touch the characters and neither does any evil or harm lurk around the corner.
Gadhavi's film is more evocative of Uday's elder brother Aditya's directorial debut Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge that too had a bratty boy from London creating trouble in a traditional Indian family about to marry off his love.
If one is looking for a diversion from the baggage of history in the form of this week's two other releases, Mere Yaar... is just what the doctor ordered.
As for the question about whether a man and woman be platonic roommates -- who cares as long as everyone has a groovy time in this designer wedding?
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