There's talk that Band Baaja Baaraat borrows heavily from The Wedding Planner. Perhaps, the allegation germinated because The Wedding Planner and Band Baaja Baaraat talk of wedding planners. However, The Wedding Planner dealt with a female wedding planner falling in love with the bride groom, while Band Baaja Baaraat tells the story of two youngsters who start a wedding planning business and who eventually fall in love. Sure, the background setting of the two films is slightly similar, but the stories are as diverse as oranges and apples.
Band Baaja Baaraat rests on two actors - a two-film-old actress [Anushka Sharma] and a rank newcomer [Ranveer Singh]. It's a major task undeniably. They have to deliver, they have to keep the viewer's interest alive, they have to make the goings-on look convincing. If they fail in their endeavour, band-baaja baj jaayega.
Thankfully, Band Baaja Baaraat works on every level. The writing [screenplay: Habib Faisal] is crisp, the execution of the material [director: Maneesh Sharma] is worthy and the lead actors [Anushka, Ranveer] steer the film to the destination smoothly. Of course, there are minor hiccups halfway through the film, but the fact remains that Band Baaja Baaraat is, without doubt, one of the most appealing films to come out of the production house.
Final word? Band Baaja Baaraat is honest, fresh, youthful and extremely entertaining. Recommended!
Shruti [Anushka Sharma] is a 20-something no-nonsense girl from a middle class Delhi household. Focused and determined with pre-planned ambitions, her goals in life are well laid out by the time she reaches her final year of college. Bittoo [Ranveer Singh], on the other hand, has no real aim in life. As a final year college student of Delhi University, he whiles away his life having fun with his buddies.
A chance and inopportune meeting brings the two of them together on a tumultuous journey where they become partners in their very own, "Wedding planning ka bijness." The rules, however, are clear: "Jisse vyapaar karo, usse kabhi na pyaar karo" [Don't mix business with pleasure]. Together, their friendship and business enters the ups and downs of the lavish Delhi weddings. And while trying to find themselves, Shruti and Bittoo discover each other and realize that they are made for each other.
The first thing that catches your eye is the novel concept of this film. In a country obsessed with marriages and merriment, the Indian weddings are filled with rituals and celebrations and continue for several days. Of course, Band Baaja Baaraat isn't about pre-wedding ceremonies, baaraat and pheras, but about two wedding planners and how the 'bijness partners' become life partners eventually. 10 minutes into the film and you get drawn to their world: The setting, the ambience, the lingo, the overall tone and mood transport you to North India instantly.
The unique plot keeps you on toes all through the first hour. The writing is oven fresh and the situations, thoroughly absorbing. I would like to single out the sequence at the intermission, which is deftly executed by the debutant director. You know something is amiss, even though no one utters a word. And you realize how true your intuition was towards the second half, which starts off with abundant promise, but deviates into the predictable zone when the lovers have a tiff. Several sequences consequently tend to get repetitive and tedious, but even in its most flaccid and drooping moments, what saves the film from derailing is the chemistry between the lead pair.
Debutant director Maneesh Sharma, who worked on Fanaa, Aaja Nachle and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, makes a confident debut with Band Baaja Baaraat. Sharma narrates a quintessential Delhi tale most effectively. Band Baaja Baaraat would've lost the plot had it been entrusted to a lesser talent. The screenplay is wonderfully penned by Habib Faisal, a gifted writer who directed the immensely likable Do Dooni Chaar. In fact, like Do Dooni Chaar, which was also set in Delhi, Band Baaja Baaraat also captures the Delhi flavour diligently. In fact, Aseem Mishra's cinematography captures the North Indian ambience with precision.
When you attempt a film with North Indian wedding ceremonies as the setting, you anticipate nothing but frolicking compositions that don't let the fun component plunge. Music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya come up with a lively score. You take to 'Ainvayi Ainvayi' instantly; it has smash hit written all over it. 'Tarkeebein' has a certain evocative feel to it, while 'Band Baaja Baaraat' has a hugely appealing tune and goes extremely well with the mood of the film, that of marriages and merriment. It's amongst Salim-Sulaiman's best works. I would also like to mention Vaibhavi Merchant's choreography in the 'Ainvayi Ainvayi' track. It's very energetic.
Anushka is truly wonderful. The toughest part of her job must have been to speak like a typical Delhi Punjabi girl and she does it so skillfully. For the first time in her 3-film career, a film rests mainly on Anushka's shoulders, as opposed to her prior films [Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Badmaash Company], and she handles the responsibility so well. Debutant Ranveer is the lifeline of Band Baaja Baaraat. In fact, the youngster adds a lot of spontaneity and sparkle to his character, which is unsophisticated, but charming. He actually catches you unaware in the emotional moments, which he enacts so well. Here's a talent you just can't disregard. The super-energetic performance should be met with equal enthusiasm by the audience.
The supporting cast includes relatively unknown names, but I would like to single out Neeraj Sood [as Maqsoodbhai], who's excellent. Manmeet Singh Sawhney [as Rajinder] is good, while Manish Chaudhari [as Mr. Sidhwani] is first-rate.
On the whole, Band Baaja Baaraat catches you with complete surprise. It has an appealing plot, which has been handled with dexterity and most importantly, it has characters that instantly make a place for themselves in your heart. I suggest, go for this pleasant experience and illuminate your weekend.
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Manmeet Singh