Director: Ajay Bhuyan
Surprises, they say, come in small packages. As a movie-goer you
should go with zero expectation, honestly, to this odd-sounding
Amit Sahni Ki List. You will be pleasantly surprised for
sure, bathed in the scent of an ambrosial rom-com filled with
endearing nooks and corners secreting a kind of cosmic view of
man-woman relationship that affords both humour and
The rom-com as genre is perpetually misunderstood and
misinterpreted in Bollywood. Not this time.
Okay, so what's the list about? It's a to-do thingy prepared by
our everyman-hero, a regular high-income guy on Facebook, played by
the very engaging Vir Das. Amit has put together a list (yes, an
actual handwritten list) of the qualities that he wants in his
Life of course has other plans. Before he meets his Dream Woman
(or DW, as Amit's acronym-obsessed mom would say), he runs into the
adventurous bohemian dog-loving bungee-jumping Mala (Vega
Their courtship is done with a colourful candour that is not
blindingly romantic. The couple sing, dance, run across
fields...but with a warning signal playing somewhere invisibly
saying, "Babe, bumps ahead".
It would be unfair to give away the goings-on in the second
movement of this very engaging rom-com. Suffice it to say that the
dips and curves in the narrative all add up to an experience that
leaves us smiling and sometimes chuckling.
Read the remaining review in the
Amit Sahni Ki List is not a great piece of cinema. It
doesn't aspire to have any lofty heights of tragic romanticism (a
la Ek Villain). Nor does it, thankfully, converge on a
neo-classic film of the past to derive its romantic imagery (a la
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania).
Vir Das Aka Amit
It is what it is. An uncluttered, elegantly narrated rom-com
about an inherently flawed hero, so confused about his aspirations
as a romantic entity that he ends up wallowing in the kind of giddy
romanticism that he probably abhors in the movies that he
As directed by Ajay Bhuyan (some significant talent here), the
life and loves of Amit Sahni is both a celebration and mockery of
romantic idealism. While the intelligent witty script takes
satirical swipes at Amit Sahni, it also makes room for his heart to
grow into something less flighty and frivolous than what flirty
films about desi casanovas tend to signify.
Vir Das And His Nagging Mom
While Vir lords over the lush rom-com landscape (a territory
surprisingly liberated of vulgarity), he gets some solid support
from the supporting cast, especially Kavi Shastri who is terrific
as Vir's jockey-buddy (langotiya yaar). It's amazing how talented
the hero's friends always turn out to be in our movies.
There's also Anu Menon (remember the veejay Lola Kutty) as a
break up specialist helping Amit ease out of a 'perfect'
Vir Das And His List
Amit Sahni Ki List is an endearing 'roam' com about a
restless Romeo looking for...ummm...love. And we use this abused
term with a giggle since there is an astonishingly short supply of
sex in Amit Sahni's epic love life. For all his back-handed
brashness, is our hero shy of making love?
Never mind the sub-texts, of which there are many in this
surprisingly entertaining nugget of a film. Just enjoy Amit Sahni's
journey from a romantic heretic to a helpless believer in true love
para-gliding into Chattisgarh to win over his lost sweetheart (a
bit of Mani Ratnam's Saathiya here).
The journey is peppered with funny exchanges and smart swipes at
contemporary sexual mores. And yes, it's very eye-catchingly shot
by cinematographer Maneesh Chandra Bhatt whose camera makes routine
cafes and streets in the metropolis appear rejuvenated.
A word about Vir Das, who grows with every performance. Here he
is vibrant and woeful, frivolous and deep all at once. Watch him in
that sequence where he runs into his former girlfriend, now
pregnant. As she tells him why she dumped him, Vir's face registers
a deep embarrassment.
Luckily the film never needs to run into any mortifying
roadblocks. It's a smooth ride all the way. From Amit Sahni's Ms.
Perfect (Anindita Nayar, tres chic) to his Miss Imperfect's pet
dog, every character here has a mind of its own.
Ditto the film. It has a heart and brains. Go for it.