Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

May 20, 2011

Sucker punched

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 11:20 pm

May 20, 2011

Cast: Divyendu Sharma, Rayo Bhakirta, Kartikeya Tiwari, Nushrat Bharucha, Sonali Sehgal, Ishitta Sharma

Director: Luv Ranjan

Disguised as a light-hearted comedy, Pyaar Ka Punchnama is such a misogynistic film that you can’t help but wonder if it was made by someone who’s had his heart brutally stamped on by a woman. The plot is centred on three male roommates in Delhi who can’t stop moaning about their dull jobs and boring lives. When each of them falls in love, things begin to look up. But director Luv Ranjan offers female leads that are such scheming, insensitive shrews that the boys quickly realize bachelor life wasn’t so bad after all.

The film starts off promisingly enough, focusing on the ‘bromance’ between the three boys. Liquid (played by Divyendu Sharma) is a job-hating nerd, Chaudhary (played by Rayo Bhakirta) is a brooding guitarist who practically lives in his undies, and Rajat (played by Kartikeya Tiwari) is the funny one. They cuss at each other and rib the geeky one endlessly, but there’s inherent warmth in the relationship that’s reminiscent of Dil Chahta Hai.

Unfortunately it all goes downhill when the women show up. Liquid falls for a manipulative co-worker who exploits his goodness, Chaudhary doesn’t know where he stands with his girlfriend who can’t seem to shake off her ex, and Rajat makes the fatal mistake of moving in with an attention-seeking harridan.

Aside from one surprisingly insightful outburst by Rajat in the film’s second half where he explains why men can never win against the fairer sex, Pyaar Ka Punchnama is neither smart nor particularly funny. It falls into a repetitive rut of petty squabbles between the boys and their partners, and the women are singled out as the villains of the piece. Of course it doesn’t help that the three actresses – Nushrat Bharucha, Sonali Sehgal and Ishitta Sharma – don’t have one acting bone between them; and to top that, they’re so unflatteringly photographed it’s hard to understand what our heroes see in them.

Pyaar Ka Punchnama is positioned as a comic take on real urban relationships, but the jokes are mostly lame, and the conflicts so exaggerated that it doesn’t work on any level. At best, Divyendu Sharma gets a few laughs out of you in the early scenes, but it’s not enough to put yourself through the misery of enduring this interminably long film.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar Ka Punchnama. It’s about as much fun as walking on broken glass.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. hey… saw it today… the hole theater was bursting with laughs… tu budda hogaya mammu 🙂

    poor rating man…

    Comment by krishna — May 21, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  2. Thank you for saving my money

    Comment by Jay — May 22, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  3. the movie is just ok 🙂

    Comment by sam — May 23, 2011 @ 12:31 am

  4. Anks Review: “Pyaar Ka Panchnaama” (4/5) – A story about three friends and their relationship’s ups and down. A very well made, original, funny, realistic movie based on relationships in current time. Typical MEN movie and the war of sexes, hue n cry well shown and explained. Good casting and superb direction….. esp climax was handled quite well.

    And yeah all women will think the characters shown in this movie they dont belong to any of them, but in reality they do and for MEN they will definitely relate it them self with intances shown in the movie. Guys dont miss out…. and Kutta song was simply creative.

    Comment by Ankesh — May 23, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  5. Not surprised with your views Rajeev. The teaser was quite regressive anyway. Not even surprised with the ‘teens’ and ‘wanna be teens’ who think abusing women loudly makes up for comedy.

    Please keep up the good work. You know the ‘masses’ have this incremental presence as the years go along….so you will get a lot of ‘whistles’ in the hall.

    Just when you think Indi cinema couldnt stoop any further, films like these come in to dispel that myth

    More power to you Rajeev


    Comment by @Rohwit — May 24, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  6. I think u have go it totally wrong dis time Mr Masand…
    U must not forget that people sometime go to cinemas not always to look @ the cinematic magnificence or artistry.. They go there to chill out and njoy after there days / weeks work…

    This movie surely scores on the same a high score….

    Comment by Dishant — May 26, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  7. movie sucks

    Comment by shrunal — May 28, 2011 @ 12:57 am

  8. My male colleague loved it. I liked it in parts. But the movie was exhaustive as a whole. I just wished for a 2012 ending where a catastrophe just destroyed everyone and all that remained was blissful nothingness. AND I saw the review before going. Should’ve listened!

    Comment by LR — May 28, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  9. Initially, I didn’t watch this movie because of this review… Only after hearing positive word of mouth, I saw it last night… It’s a fantastic movie people.. do watch it.. and Mr. Masand I think its time to stop coming on this site and check out reviews.. please get rid of pessimism.. and get into the shoes of Youth when next time you review movies like these.. 🙂

    Comment by Nitin — May 28, 2011 @ 10:17 am

  10. Hi Rajeev,

    I mostly agree with you in reviews and respect all of them.

    But this time, i will have to agree to disagree…

    This kind of relationships are actually happening in India today. Ask 5-10 people in age group 20-30 around you who have seen the movie i bet at 70-80% will connect to the movie as either themselves or their friends have been thru this kind of relationships.

    @Dishant: agree with you this time RM has got it totally wrong.

    And i stil roll in laughter when i remember the Batman Dialogue!!


    Comment by Ali Naqvi — May 28, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  11. I think u r getting overly critical. The movie was a lot of fun. The first half was great. I agree the second half was monotonous but the way the climax sequence was handled was good. And this movie might not be a 4 but it is certainly not a 1.5.
    Also, there is nothing wrong with making jokes about women as its just an exaggeration, not to be taken seriously. Its something like sardar or blonde jokes.

    PKP had lot of new n creative things, n i loved the kutta song.

    Comment by dk — May 28, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  12. I pity u sir dt u uddn like GOOD movies…dis is a muvie wid which d youth and evn d middle age COnnectd BIG TIME ..Ive seen dis muvie twce in THEATRE nd loved it …. i wondr hw cum u evn din like WANTED LONDON DREAMS 3 IDIOTS ! … plz stop reviewin films

    Comment by Danish — May 29, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  13. d WHOLE THEATRE ws BURSTIN IN LAUGHTER …nd people CLAPPED 4 times…d entire tehatre ! LIQUID RAJO ROCKd

    Comment by Danish — May 29, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  14. Mvi is awsme…….bt u aint……get a life so called critics

    Comment by Rash — May 29, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  15. You cannot be more wrong.
    I almost missed this movie because of your review.
    I give you the point on not “at-par-acting” but the point of view is expressed very nicely and I give all credits to director.
    Looks like it is time for you to get down from the 10,000 feet perch and starting looking at ground realities.

    A real must watch for guys and I sure girls can also laugh even though the joke’s on them.

    Comment by Abhi — May 31, 2011 @ 3:14 am

  16. RM….ur review seems that u r too old to judge dis movie…..it was a brilliant movie wid awesome realistic comic-caper…..all the actors specially Rajjo-Liquid-Choudhery did justice to their characters……entire movie-hall was clapping for number of times and I wonder when did I heard so much clapping in a multiplex @ evening show( the tyming is pretty for family-goers)……..stop complaining and criticism for the sake of criticism……open ur eyes…….will get to see the real world now-a-days, which was ironically depicted in this movie!!!!!!!!…..a must-watch movie……

    Comment by Benoy — May 31, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  17. You are so wrong mamu.
    If All the Dishes in the world were Dessert , Life would be so Mundane.
    The Same goes for a movie,
    We have seen some real mature cinema in recent times, but That’s not all what the “Masses” (As you call them), Wants.

    The Movie in question , clearly hits with the audience, Proof : A Houseful show.
    If you couldn’t relate to it, (and probably why the bad review), that’s simply coz you don’t belong to the generation.
    Devdas Days are gone, Dev D’s are in.

    I suggest you stick to your kind of lucid movies and avoid the genre which you don’t understand.

    A Movie is not just Lights, Camera, Action, Script, Dialogues, blah blah blah. . .
    It’s more of a reflection of the audience, if that’s what audience wanna see , you got to show’em.
    No one likes the Switzerland greens , and Larger than life sets (aka DevDas remake) anymore (atleast not the new GEN , May be you oldies still do, and some of you hard core fans too).

    Comment by Swapnil — June 2, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  18. Movie is very good, it deserves 4/5.

    I think u r too old to judge/review this movie 🙂

    Comment by addy — June 2, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  19. Dude.. this movie should be nominated for the oscars….. it has so clearly bought about the fact that women are manipulative bitches and will do anything to get their work done.. of course it does not apply for every one…..

    there is one catch though.. men are pigs… most part of the movie i felt like giving a punch to liquid for being such a jack-ass… he actually deserved it coz he knew that he was being taken for a ride right from day 1 by that slut.. but he still kept on kissing her butt….

    but all’s well that ends well….. i m glad that the guys had the last laugh………………

    and as far as the rating is concerned… with a rating of 1.5/5… i think i will stop following rajeev masand from now on…… i think u have lost ur sense of humour…. we have had so many movies that show atrocities against women… nobody seems to mind them.. for the first time we have a movie which shows what animals some of them are…. i would give this movie a rating of 10/5…..:)

    get a life mr masand…………….

    Comment by Hunk — June 3, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  20. I seen this movie and it was quite ok, had some decent comedy punch.. I enjoyed it. If not very good cant say that bad as well, it at least deserver 2 n half star

    Comment by Ankit @ Unlimited Blogging — June 3, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  21. Hello Mr Masand,

    Sorry I wanted to say Masand Sir cause I used to admire your reviews a lot. But sadly today no such emotion is coming up….on the contrary I feel disgusted with the way you have reviewed the film. Let me ask you one thing…whats your age?? You have gone old Mr Masand…..its time you stop reviewing films made for youngsters by the youngsters…..In case you are thinking that “Ohh poor boy…what he knows about film making in your typical snobbish style” then let me clarify…I watch a lot of movies including your so called intellectual foreign films (No not just the UTV world movie) going to each and every film festival in India possible…..So I can say that I am not an novice in watching films and have some sense and sensibilities to understand what a film is about and what the director has tried to portray….if showing girls in bad light makes men misogynist then what about films where its shown that guys use girls like tissue.. why dont you say that time that you cant project every men like that…because you yourself are a hypocrite. You do not know how to review a film impartially. Please dont bring your narrow mentality while reviewing films….there are many films which may be gross for you but for us its a cult…PKP may not be that great for me to ramble in your site but still it has shown your hypocritic nature…am not following your review any more…..my judgement is much better than so called critics….

    Comment by Sourav — June 3, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  22. I take back my words about you saving my money…You are a moron. I had planned so much for the movie and then you called it dud. So I had to retract my plans….and then I ccome to know movie was a real fun…comon rajeev get it on the mark next time…

    Comment by Jay — June 6, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  23. i enjoyed the movie …
    usually i do agree with you RM, and i have so trust on your reviews and ratings that even i start talking the same about the movies which you say even before watching them personally , but this time .. hmm i wont say tht i dont agree with you at all, but it was entertaining , we could relate us with it, and about direction and acting it is not the best but not even the bad.. yeah at some points of time it was getting repeated and the end was really not the perfect end , it was like the director got bored and put a full-stop there 😀 , the message is not clear ( except the very of course message for guys 😛 )
    overall i will remember this flick as the funny and entertaining one and i can recall the hilarious dialogs even if they were so common. after a long time got to watch a movie which relaxed me , burst me into laftr and this is certainly not like those cheap stupid filthy movies..

    Comment by neetu — June 7, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  24. Masand Sir

    This was a total fun movie…..at least first half rocked…
    so 2.5 toh minimum banta hai…

    3.5 from my side 🙂

    Comment by Amar — June 9, 2011 @ 2:17 am

  25. yep i agreee wid everybody except u. iI really enjoyed the movie was a full paisaaa vasooolll u got it wrong this time man

    Comment by Shrey — June 10, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  26. @ Mr Masand… Lately i dont know what happened.. but your pasand is just not my pasand… This is good movie which revolve around urban couples and i was absolutely delighted after watching this movie and i dont remember any other person who i know has some different opinion. I agree second half was little slower and could have been better but at the same time movie created just the right impact.

    Earlier i used to read your reviews before going to any movie but now i just go empty minded rather.

    Sorry but you are just critical about the films these days be it Hollywood or Bollywood

    Comment by Aditya Khandelwal — June 10, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

  27. You know something in IMDB ti’s rating is 7.9/10.Found your rating mostly useless :).. mind it!!

    Comment by Neeraj — June 12, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

  28. man this film is fucking awesome dunno why u r so out of life

    Comment by chetron padro — June 17, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  29. I think you have not enjoyed bachelor life.. buddy its a nice movie to chill out ..

    Comment by ankur — June 18, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  30. Dear Mr Masand,

    Its high time u understand u understand that not all movies are rated by its cinematic magnificence or brilliance, what also matters is the ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT, which this movie has in abundance.

    Also, how can u ignore the the brilliant acting all the debunants (males and females) – especially Liquid’s naturalistic acting & chaudhary’s acting with his eyes.

    Hope U can get what i want to tell u. This is just a suggestion and not a criticism.


    Comment by Shyamal — June 24, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  31. Rajeev sir, I m a big fan of urs may b bcause i find yr ratings very true bt nt dis time.
    I think u missed it completely. It was the best teen age movie i hv watched aftr Ishq Vishq.
    Atleast u shud hv recognizd the brilliant acting of all the debutants in d film bt u didnt.
    I will nt say dat u hv grown old like others bcase u hv givn grt reviews abt films like hangover which ws completely a youth oriented movie bt dis is bollywd nd may b u r nt ready 2 accpt such a movie frm it…

    grow up sir bcause bollyuwood is rising….

    Comment by Anshul — July 2, 2011 @ 3:15 am

  32. Finally I watched the movie…Its 2.5 on 5 for me

    Comment by Jay — July 3, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  33. r u gone mad?? this movie deseves at least 3 stars.. u r getting older to judge these kind of movies..

    Comment by sumit — July 8, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  34. Mr. Masand,

    If you are really a critic for masses…than I have got a news for you.

    Masses loved it. Everyone I know could relate to the movie so well. And most of them could identify themselves in most of the scenes. Its an awesome entertainer……

    Just think twice before you criticise such good films….

    Comment by Deepak Miglani — July 12, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  35. Its a pretty decent film with a lot of guys going through such phases, i personally know them and could relate their situation in this movie. Its a movie for the youth. Not every movie has to be logically right and intellectual to make you feel a great movie, this is a different genre and makes a sincere attempt of a guys view of todays girls in some metro cities. Probably you cannot relate as you have gone past that age and cannot really appreciate the scenes, not your fault, its your perspective that changes with age.

    Comment by Vishwas — July 14, 2011 @ 3:10 am

  36. I searched for your website when I found out the rating you gave to this movie. You have got to be kidding, this movie will probably be cult among bachelor office going people in a few years. I dont think I have laughed more in a theater. You seem to be in a dream world when it comes to relationships in today’s world. As people are saying lagta haiage factor hai ..
    I pity all those who missed this movie after reading your rating and would ask them to use their own brains before deciding to watch a movie. More than anything,you have a responsibility to people who read your reviews and it seems you just want to be projected as different from other critics.

    Comment by Abhi — July 16, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  37. i take your review seriously but from this film review i don’t think so……
    the movie is awesome the three actors are good the story make you sit…..the best part is the beg-round music

    Comment by bada — July 20, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  38. Rajeev please juge movie on behalf of generation.

    i think if are 22 – 26 at this time you will give this movie 4.5 out of 5.

    try to review movie on the basis of mass not on basis of you choice.

    i know your girlfriend say you to write bad about this movie . but be a man rajeev………

    Comment by ABHISHEK — August 3, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  39. Only Bollywood movie worth watching this year. Even calling it a Bollywood movie is an insult. And the girls look hot man. Only problem was the songs. Most of them sucked.

    Comment by rofl — August 4, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  40. superb movie .mr rajeev please rate films properly. i give 4/5 for this movie

    Comment by roh p — October 30, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  41. Masand, I missed this movie because of your review. Please rate the movies correctly…

    Comment by Arup — November 4, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  42. I’m afraid this review is misleading. This is actually a very simple and very well made film. I guess the lack of “masala” did not go well with Mr. Masand but from a common man’s PoV, I strongly recommend this. All three male actors have done a good job, with Liquid stealing the show. The girls are also not too bad, especially Charu. Riya was probably not all that convincing, but not too bad either.

    Comment by Siddharth Kanjilal — February 18, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

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