Friday, September 15, 2006
There have been teenage romances. There have been mature love stories. But you can actually count movies that tackle an urban relationship -- the love story between two consenting adults who are ready for a relationship, not marriage. Pyaar Ke Side Effects mirrors certain truths that several working people in a metropolis face. And it's this facet that forms the crux of the story.
Pyaar Ke Side Effects is a simple film, about two ordinary people. The 'bone of contention' here is marriage. The girl wants to marry, the guy isn't ready for a commitment. They part ways, cross each other's path at regular intervals, try to find solace in others' arms, but can't erase the memory of their beloved.
What sets Pyaar Ke Side Effects apart from films of this genre is that debutante director Saket Chaudhary refrains from melodrama. Instead, he packs in humor to narrate the story. And that's one of the prime reasons why Pyaar Ke Side Effects turns out to be a watchable experience.
A well-told story backed by honest performances, Pyaar Ke Side Effects is an ideal date flick that should appeal to everyone in love or those who've drifted apart. Targeted at the multiplexes and the yuppie crowd in particular, this one's a refreshingly pleasant experience.
Sid [Rahul Bose] leads an ideal life. He's a DJ. He has a girlfriend Trisha [Mallika Sherawat]. And right in the middle of a crucial cricket match, Trisha proposes marriage. Sid panics. But Trisha wants everything -- love, marriage, a loving husband, the brats, a beautiful home. And the only way Sid can keep Trisha in his life is by committing to her.
Sid searches for answers -- his sister's advice, his mother's guidance and his room mate's constant red alert against marriage. And as a confused Sid marches over to Trisha office, he ends up asking her to marry him.
Now begins his nightmare... the search for a perfect engagement ring, furniture hunts and conversations about children. And then, to top it all, Sid meets the family -- Trisha's father, Retired General Mallick [Sharat Saxena] or 'Papa' as Trisha would have him called the 'old monster' -- who hates the very sight of Sid and constantly tries to disconnect him from Trisha.
There are more characters in this story: Trisha's ex-fiancÉ [Jas Arora], her best friend and Sid's constant's worry 'Dracula' [Suchitra Pillai], a hot babe Tanya [Sophie Chaudhary], Sid's pregnant and hyper sister Shalini [Taraana Raja] and her husband Kapil [Aamir Bashir] and the always insane Nanoo [Ranvir Sheorey].
Pyaar Ke Side Effects talks of relationships, but it's narrated in a nonconforming format. At one moment, the protagonist is talking to the viewer, the next moment he's trying to keep the relationship with his sweetheart going. All this results in a number of enjoyable and entertaining moments.
Not that the film is devoid of emotions. In fact, any love story would look fake if there's no conflict or clash of ideas. In this case, the turning point comes at the intermission, when Rahul Bose confronts Sharat Saxena, Mallika's father, and the lovers part ways. It's a master stroke!
Note another sequence: Rahul walks in unannounced at Mallika's birthday party, after they've split, and finds Mallika's ex-fiancÉ there. There's another striking sequence: The foursome -- Rahul-Sophie and Jas-Mallika -- going out for dinner together.
But Pyaar Ke Side Effects is not perfect. The second hour drags and the climax could've been better, realistic to be precise. Also, there should've been a solid reason for Rahul to go back to Mallika. Ranveer's girlfriend tying the knot with another person is not too strong enough a reason.
Saket is a director to watch. Not once do you feel in those 2.20 hours that you're watching a first-timer narrate an interesting story. His choice of the subject as also the execution of the material deserves to be lauded. If the purpose was to make a film that can be identified by the urban, multiplex-going audience, it fulfills the expectations. On the flip side, the film isn't the type that would appeal to the masses. In fact, its appeal will be restricted to the metros mainly.
Pritam's music is in sync with the mood of the film. Manoj Soni's camerawork is only getting better with every film. The usage of vibrant colors [art: Omung Kumar] accentuates the impact.
Rahul Bose plays his part with amazing ease. In fact, the actor is natural to the core, handling the most complex scenes with flourish. Mallika Sherawat does a fine job, complimenting Rahul at every step. In fact, the scenes between Rahul and Mallika are the mainstay of the enterprise. The film has a number of characters, but the ones who stand out are Aamir Bashir, Ranveer Shorey, Sharat Saxena and Suchitra Pillai. Sophie radiates oomph. Taraana Raja, Jas Arora and Sapna Bhavnani are passable.
On the whole, Pyaar Ke Side Effects has a refreshingly different theme and is handled in an equally novel format. At the box-office, the film caters to the multiplex audience of metros mainly. Business beyond multiplexes seems doubtful.