Saturday, March 17, 2007
P.N.C.'s Pyaar Ke Side Effects was all about commitment. About a young couple that's into a serious relationship, but is not ready for marriage. Its theme as also its execution was its USP.
The corporate entity's new film Just Married: Marriage was only the beginning talks of arranged marriage. The parents of two educated, city-bred people decide to get them married. The girl finds the concept [arranged marriage] odd, but bows down to her parents' wishes nonetheless. The couple goes on a honeymoon to Ooty and gets acquainted with four more couples.
Does it ring a bell? Of course, the premise bears resemblance to the recent Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Nothing wrong if two directors think alike, but Just Married: Marriage was only the beginning doesn't pack in a solid punch in those 2 + hours.
Problems, problems, problems...
Problem 1: The film stands on a weak foundation [story]. The newly-wed couple has problems in their relationship because the guy wants to consummate the marriage, while the girl is uncomfortable. She has her reasons. But the reasons aren't strong enough. Actually, there's no issue as such. It's akin to making a mountain out of a molehill!
Problem 2: Besides the protagonists [Fardeen-Esha], the film introduces you to four other couples [Kirron Kher-Satish Shah / Sadia Siddique-Mukul Dev / Tarina Patel-Raj Zutshi / Perizaad Zorabian-Bikram Saluja]. Barring the Kirron Kher-Saitish Shah track, the remaining couples are mere props. They have nothing worthwhile to do!
Problem 3: It's too slow. The story unravels at a lethargic pace. As it is the storyline is waferthin and to top it all, the snail pacing!
The outcome: Just not happening!
Two individuals: Abhay Sachdeva [Fardeen Khan] and Ritika Khanna [Esha Deol]. Strangers, but for a sole meeting. On the fringes of familiarity, but with their destinies firmly entwined forever. Married to each other yet outsiders together on their honeymoon.
Far away in Ooty, 290 kms. from home in Bangalore, Abhay and Ritika begin their journey as husband and wife on their 5-day honeymoon. Along the way they chance upon several people -- some couples, some individuals, some believers in the institution of marriage and the romance of togetherness, some non-believers.
Abhay and Ritika have never held hands, never walked together in the rain, never romanced each other and yet, as per ritual, they have to spend five days together in one room, with one bed, as husband and wife, in a situation where they are expected to love each other and become lovers.
Just Married: Marriage was only the beginning is a film set amidst middle class India where romance and love start at the ultimate commitment -- marriage. Will Abhay and Ritika find friendship and become lovers? Will they survive their new-found relationship as husband and wife? Or will their honeymoon be the beginning of the end?
Just Married: Marriage was only the beginning fails to hold your attention after an appealing start. In fact, you watch the film with rapt attention till Fardeen and Esha embark on their honeymoon and reach Ooty. Once there, the story comes to a grinding halt. The incidents that follow range from ordinary to dull, with the moviegoer feeling restless as the story progresses.
The first hour is at least tolerable, but the second half goes down completely. The screenplay is devoid of drama and what you watch is a repetition and reflection of sequences that you watched in the first hour. In fact, there's no twist in the tale except when the Bikram-Perizaad affair stands exposed. That too is abruptly handled!
The finale is quite amateurish. In fact, very filmy. Esha realizes that she loves her husband before the catastrophe is about to occur. In the first place, Fardeen had always been an understanding man and Esha should've realized his worth much before the accident.
Meghna Gulzar's script is uninteresting, while her direction is just about okay. To her credit, she has drawn competent performances from Fardeen and Esha, besides handling a few moments between them with maturity. Pritam's music is passable. 'Ram Milaye Jodi' is the sole track that you feel like humming. Cinematography [Sachin Krishn] is eye-catching. Dialogues are wonderful, especially those delivered by Kirron-Satish.
Fardeen delivers his most believable and honest performance to date. He is slowly evolving into a fine actor. Esha too is only getting better with every film. After Ankahee, this is yet another striking performance. Satish Shah and Kirron Kher are fantastic and provide ample laughs throughout.
Bikram Saluja enacts his part efficiently. Perizaad is likeable. One wants to see more of this perky actress! Sadia is alright, while Mukul Dev is wasted. Tarina Patel is expressive, while Raj Zutshi gets minimal scope. Anita and Eijaz Khan leave an impression in brief roles. They look good together!
On the whole, Just Married: Marriage was only the beginning is a weak fare with not much to salvage it. Disappointing!