'Take it easy, don't get so excited,' quips Rukmani (Hema Malini) to her daughter Naina (Rakul Preet Singh) in one of the scenes in Ramesh Sippy's Shimla Mirchi. Unfortunately, there's barely anything exciting about the film's story as well.
For those who ain't aware, this Rajkummar Rao-Hema Malini-Rakul Preet Singh starrer was stuck in the cans for around five years before it finally makes its way into the cinema halls this week. Does the film manage to strike a chord? Let's find out here.
What's Yay: A few ha-ha moments.
What's Nay: The execution of the film falls flat. Even the performances of the lead actors barely leave a mark.
Popcorn Refill: Interval.
Iconic Moment: None.
Avinash aka Avi (Rajkummar Rao) who always messes up with confessing his feelings to girls, falls in love with a feisty girl Naina (Rakul Preet Singh) at first sight while on a family vacation in Shimla. To grow closer to her, Avinash even takes up a job at her cafe.
Just when things look bright, our hero musters the courage to confess his feelings to Naina through an amorous letter without revealing his name in it. Things take an unusual turn when the love letter lands up with Naina's mother Rukmani (Hema Malini) who is yet to get over her separation from her husband (Kanwaljeet Singh).
Mistaking Avinash's affection for herself, Rukmani decides to let go of her past and start her life afresh. The rest of the plot revolves around how this single confusion leads to a comedy of errors.
It's heartbreaking to watch Ramesh Sippy, the man who made iconic films like Sholay, Seeta Aur Geeta, give us an outing that barely has a spark. The plot is predictable and the execution is average. The inconsistent screenplay and the dry humour fail to keep you engaged throughout the film. Ramesh Sippy returns to direction after 25 years and the man seems to have lost his Midas touch.
Some of the scenes leave you guffawing for the wrong reasons. Sample this. When Naina points out at a water purifier and tells Avinash, 'Ye wala lete hai kyunki meri mummy kehti hai ki yeh sabse shudh paani deta hain', you are instantly reminded of the water purifier brand endorsed by Hema Malini.
Even a versatile performer like Rajkummar Rao fails to add any depth to the film's narrative. Instead, the actor is seen channeling his inner Shah Rukh Khan in the romantic portions of the film and it falls flat on the face.
Another major disappointment is Hema Malini's hamming. It's a major jab in the heart to watch the veteran actress struggle with her lines and deliver an over-dramatic performance.
Rakul Preet Singh is watchable though she too, struggles between subtle and OTT acting. Her chemistry with Rajkummar Rao shines in parts and pieces. Shakti Kapoor and Kanwaljeet Singh ended up in wasted roles.
Harmeet Singh's camera work is average and barely explores the beautiful locales of Shimla. Vijay Venkatramanan's editing is off track at places.
'Ishq Di Feeling' which plays during the opening credits of the film is forgettable. 'Mirchi Shimle Di' too fails to get you on the dance floor. In short, the songs simply add to the run time of the film.
'Ishq di feeling new new hain', goes the lyrics of one of the songs in the film. But, this Rajkummar Rao-Hema Malini-Rakul Preet Singh starrer hardly offers anything new on the platter. You know this film is a humdrum affair when Dharmendra's cameo is the only thing which stays with you post the rolling of end-credits.
We give 2 stars out of 5 for Shimla Mirchi.