Available on: ZEE5
When Sanjay (Vikrant Massey) and his girlfriend Aditi (Kriti Kharbanda) ask the former's theatre artist friend Zubina (Gauahar Khan) to be a part of their unconventional plan, she jumps at the offer and quips, "Yaar aise role ki khaatir mein kabse intezaar mein baithi thhi. Kasam Stanislavski ki, Matlab layered, challenging. So relevant yaar. Kar dungi mein yeh role."
Yes, Devanshu Singh's social comedy 14 Phere has a relevant theme as its core. But does it make for an entertaining ride? Well, only partially is what we would like to say!
What's Yay: Vikrant Massey, Kriti Kharbanda and Gauahar Khan's performances
What's Nay: Disappointing climax
Sanjay aka Sanju (Vikrant Massey), a Bihari boy falls in love with his collegemate, a Jat chhori Aditi (Kriti Kharbanda) and the duo get into a live-in relationship. However, reality soon strikes them that their respective parents wouldn't give their nod to this inter-caste union. While Sanju's father Kanhaiya Lal (Vineet Kumar) is keen to get his boy hitched to a girl from the same caste, Aditi's dad is dead against love marriages.
That's when Sanju gets hit by an idea of exchanging nuptials with Aditi twice, with the help of a fake set of parents who can stand in for their two weddings. To carry out this plan, he takes the help of 'Delhi ki Meryl Streep' Zubina (Gauahar Khan), his co-star from his theatre play to pose as his fake mother while the once-celebrated theatre artist Amay (Jameel Khan) steps in to play his phoney dad. Will Sanjay-Aditi's tale of two weddings get a happy ending?
Director Devanshu Singh has picked up a socially-relevant topic and tried to spin a light-hearted story around it in 14 Phere. In the past, Bollywood has churned out many films on inter-caste love stories; some hit the bullseye at the box office; some didn't.
Singh's outing begins with a bang as he establishes the key characters in his world in an enjoyable way. It's fun to watch each of them lend their own zing to the plot. So far, so good! But sadly, this joy ride is cut short when Manoj Kalwani's writing loses its sheen in the latter part of the film. Things get predictable and boom, you end up disappointed!
While it's a relief that Singh steers clear of his characters delivering heavy-duty preachy monologues, one wished that he had tackled this topic in a more convincing way. His frivolous handling of the climax breaks your heart into two especially when his cast is promising. Singh prefers to make a fleeting mention of 'honour killing' in his narrative but fails to show the 'change of hearts' effectively.
Vikrant Massey who left our jaws dropped with his twisted act in Haseen Dillruba which released a few weeks ago, showcases his lighter side in 14 Phere and wins you over with his pleasant act. His chemistry with Kriti Kharbanda is breezy. The latter's perky act is likeable.
However, it's Gauahar Khan who steals the show in this romantic comedy. When not channeling her inner 'Meryl Streep' on stage, the lady ends up getting sloshed and kissing a stranger in a pub. The actress delivers a bombastic performance as Zubina. Jameel Khan is effective in his part. The rest of the cast including Vineet Kumar, Yamini Das, Priyanshu Singh and others are good in their respective roles.
Riju Das' camerawork is satisfactory. Manan Sagar keeps the film short and crispy with his sharp editing scissors.
Rekha Bharadwaj's soulful voice coupled with Shloke Lal's beautiful lyrics makes 'Ram Sita' a melodious hear. The 'Chamak' song might grow on you after repeated listenings. The rest of the soundtrack fails to register on your lips.
"If you cannot convince them, confuse them," Sanju and Aditi scream with excitement while explaining their 'foolproof' plan to a bunch of co-workers. Director Devanshu Singh fails to achieve either of this situation in his film. In a nutshell, the audience ends up far away from a 'happily ever after'.
We give 2.5 stars out of 5 to Vikrant Massey-Kriti Kharbanda's 14 Phere.