CHEMISTRY: Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor are a hit in Bewakoofiyaan.


DIRECTOR: Nupur Asthana

CAST: Rishi Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor





AT face value, Bewakoofiyaan may appear to be about yet another love story in a middle-class set-up, with the tyrannical father of the girl throwing a wet blanket on her plans.

While the subject is as old as the hills – we’ve seen worried or overprotective parents opposing their offsprings’ choice of partner in dozens of films – Bewakoofiyaan also reflects a thorny problem that is plaguing the world: the recession.

However, what could have been a serious take on relationships and economic decline is punctuated with several laugh-inducing moments by director Nupur Asthana.

One expects Bewakoofiyaan to be a joy-ride, since Asthana’s big screen debut Mujhse Fraaanship Karoge was marked by intelligent humour, clever lines and charming moments. Here, Asthana and writer Habib Faisal have given the clichéd plot a new spin.

Mohit (Ayushmann Khurrana), a marketing whiz kid, and Mayera (Sonam Kapoor), a financial brain, are much in love. They work hard and they party harder. Their belief is simple: you can live on love and fresh air.

But there’s an obstacle: Mayera’s wilful bureaucratic father VK.

Sehgal (Rishi Kapoor) believes that only a rich man can bring Mayera happiness and a mid-level executive like Mohit simply isn’t good enough.

Who gets the last laugh when the recession strikes and the lack of money tests love?

Bewakoofiyaan brings back memories of Anubhav Sinha’s Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai and Rahul Dholakia’s Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar, not to mention Father of the Bride and Meet the Parents.

Having said that, Asthana and Faisal pepper the plot with some cleverly penned sequences, but even beyond these episodes, the writing maintains a strong grip from start to finish.

The writer includes the effects of the recession smartly in the proceedings without distracting from the central issue, the love story.

There’s a lot to like in Bewakoofiyaan. The makers know well the flavour of humour they wish to peddle – witty and subtle – shying away from the slapstick and buffoonery one has come to expect of Bollywood comedies.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Bewakoofiyaan makes a genuine attempt to entertain beyond tried and tested flavours and it succeeds in evoking genuine laughs.

Asthana and Faisal have also invested heavily in the characters and the screenplay to keep the interest alive.

The film also works for two other reasons: sharp dialogue and spot-on performances by the protagonists.

However, there are hiccups too. The conclusion is predictable, given the genre of the film, so Faisal should have ensured that the sequences leading to the climax were offbeat.

The soundtrack by Raghu Dixit is just plain ordinary. Although it’s not right to draw comparisons, one misses having another haunting Paani Da Rang type of melody from Khurrana (that song has become a benchmark).

Notwithstanding the blemishes, what needs to be appreciated is the chance Yash Raj Films has been taking lately.

While the premier production house is synonymous with biggies like Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ek Tha Tiger and Dhoom 3, it is not shying away from making “smaller” films with interesting concepts, such as Ishaqzaade, Mere Dad Ki Maruti, Shuddh Desi Romance and now Bewakoofiyaan.

The editing by Antara Lahiri is crisp, while the director of photography, Neha Parti Matiyani, paints vivid portraits of the capital and Dubai.

The film relies on the three central characters – portrayed by Rishi Kapoor, Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor – and the performances are commendable. This is especially so in the case of Rishi Kapoor, a gifted actor who is finally being given roles that do justice to his talent.

Khurrana is charming, confident and far from shaky in sequences with the veteran Rishi Kapoor. That’s no mean achievement!

Sonam Kapoor has evolved tremendously as an actress. Films like Raanjhanaa, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and now Bewakoofiyaan have cemented her status as a fine talent. Here she goes all-out, flaunting the oomph factor.

The supporting cast, in limited roles, deserve a special mention, especially Gurpal Singh as Gursharan and Pratap Hada as Immy.

On the whole, Bewakoofiyaan is a pleasant surprise.

Watch this slice-of-life film for the super performances by Rishi Kapoor, Khuranna and Sonam Kapoor, watertight writing, skilled direction, and dollops of humour. –