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

March 14, 2014

Papa don’t screech!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:35 pm

March 14, 2014

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor

Director: Nupur Asthana

Buried somewhere beneath all the fluff in director Nupur Asthana’s Bewakoofiyaan is the kernel of an interesting idea – love in the time of recession. Set in the very believable world of upwardly mobile 20-something-year-olds, the film reflects a generation for whom credit cards are status symbols, and lunch breaks are spent shopping for designer heels.

Mohit (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a cocky marketing executive at an airline company, who appears to have everything: a promotion round the corner, a pretty girlfriend who’s financially independent, and a brand new car bought on EMIs. But then he’s suddenly fired. It’s a good thing Myra (Sonam Kapoor) is doing well at her bank job, and happily volunteers to support him during this rough patch.

Now there’s a premise ripe with potential!

But Habib Faisal’s undercooked script has little interest in exploring the pressure of unemployment on relationships. For how long can Mohit be comfortable living off Myra’s generosity? How long before she loses respect for him? And how does this change the dynamics of their equation? These are genuine, inbuilt conflicts that are squandered in exchange for the cliché of the heroine’s disapproving dad.

Rishi Kapoor is VK Sehgal, a retired IAS officer and Myra’s cantankerous father. Even before he learns that Mohit’s lost his job, he doesn’t hide the fact that he thinks his daughter can do better. Asthana allows Rishi Kapoor to be boorish and to act like a bully, so much of the film’s humor is pinned on Mohit’s tentative relationship with his father-in-law-to-be.

Aside from one solid scene in which Mohit and Myra get into a very real argument about money while he’s dropping her off to work, the film’s conversations feel contrived, and its resolutions too squeaky clean. The climax is a disappointing cop-out, and everything that leads up to it, flat-out boring.

Despite three likeable actors in principal roles, Bewakoofiyaan feels lightweight instead of lighthearted. Asthana directs with an easy hand, but she’s saddled with a dead duck of a script that simply can’t be saved. I’m going with two out of five.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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