It is time divorce managers take centre stage

MUMBAI: There have been films on matchmakers and there have been films on wedding planners. In keeping with times, now there is one on divorce engineers, who facilitate a no-mess divorce.

Producer: Prasar Vision P Ltd.
Director: Ashwini Chaudhary.
Cast: R Madhavan, Bipasha Basu, Milind Soman, Dipanita Sharma, Omi Vaidya, Mrinalini Sharma, Helen.

Since even in remotest villages of India, matchmakers have taken a back seat, it is time divorce managers took centre stage. A timely idea, but how do you script rest of the film? Jodi Breakers uses this contemporary malady as the theme but moves ahead and turns it into a traditional love story with set values.

Madhavan has just got through his divorce and celebrates the event with his friends. He has lost all he had: his house, cash and car. The car is the one he misses most. From this day on, he decides that his only aim in life is to get his beloved car, nicknamed Horny, back.

Despite his messy divorce, he is unscathed, cared for and sheltered by his friends. He soon realises that many marriages are not working and need to be resolved in the interest of either both sides or the aggrieved side. He starts a business, which is thriving since so are the separations. Bipasha Basu comes onto the scene; her qualification to join Madhvan‘s enterprise is that she handled her long squabbling parents‘ divorce proceedings successfully.

They team up and business starts booming until they decide that one couple they have been sent to part was not worth parting but, rather, reuniting.

In the process, the two also fall in love but for the sake of drama and to take the film further, their love is put on pause. They realise that they have been set up by Madhavan‘s ex-wife and have created a rift between a perfectly loving and happy couple, Milind Soman and Dipanita Sharma. Their priority is to reunite them. This requires the help of Milind Soman‘s grandma, Helen, staying in Goa. Madhavan, Bipasha and Helen combine to use various ploys to this end, resorting to some old-fashioned mush and emotions. While the film‘s theme affords some side characters like Omi Vaidya with a couple of others for some much-needed distraction, further help comes in the form of pleasant Greece and Goa locales.

Director Ashwini Chaudhary seems to have a balanced sense of the pulse of the audience and, within provided resources, has handled the film deftly. The film has a few good numbers in Jab main tumhare saath…, Darmiyaan… and Mujhko teri zaroorat hai.

Photography is eye pleasing. Madhavan gives one of his usual natural performances. Bipasha Basu looks suitably glamorous and does well. Omi Vaidya needs to come out of his 3 Idiots mould pretty soon. Milind Soman and Dipanita give a convincing account of their characters. A cameo by Helen makes for a pleasant watch.

Jodi Breakers is a watchable fare; the opening is low with some hopes for pick up during the weekend but the exam season is a hurdle.

A feel-good romantic comedy

Producer: Kumar Taurani.
Director: Mandeep Kumar.
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh, Om Puri, Tinu Anand, Smita Jaykar.

A feel-good romantic comedy with a controlled budget limits one‘s options to second- or third-rung cast, no foreign locations (which are a waste in most cases anyway), no sets or crowds and just an economically planned outdoor shoot.

The question, however, is that with your lead pair already linked romantically (now married) does their on screen romance work or does it just add to the make-believe? Or is introducing a fresh new pair more sensible?

Riteish is a rickshaw driver on Tinu Anand‘s fleet of rickshaws, working from dawn to dusk to save money so that he can someday buy a car and run his own private cab company. Tinu Anand steals the idea and overnight converts his fleet of rickshaws into cabs, in the process pocketing the Rs 60,000 cash that Riteish had saved up and stashed under rickshaw seat. Having gathered enough courage after a bout of heavy drinking with his roommates, Riteish crashes in to Tinu Anand‘s house as the roka ceremony of Genelia, his boss‘s daughter, is in progress. Unwilling to tie the knot with the boy her father chose, she uses the opportunity to stage manage her kidnapping by Riteish. Genelia suggests that Riteish demand a ransom of Rs 1 million from her father.

For the next few reels the couple is on the run, having fun, singing and dancing and, inevitably, falling in love. Just when Tinu Anand and his rowdy son-in-law-to-be catch up with the duo, both are kidnapped and whisked away to Haryana and presented in front of kidnap king Chowdhary, Om Puri. His business is to kidnap affluent people for ransom, so much so that even his palatial house is called Agva House by the locals. It turns out that Riteish Deshmukh is the scion of Agva House and he would rather make a decent living than join his father‘s illegal business. But now Genelia is in the custody of Om Puri and every time she has some bright idea, Om Puri finds her more valuable and his demand for her ransom goes up by another Rs 500,000. Genelia soon wins the hearts of everyone around, including Om Puri, who wants her as his daughter-in-law since he thinks that his son is incapable of taking over his business which Genelia can take over eventually.

While this part of Agva House and its activities is funny in most parts, it comes out more as a spoof on an idiotic kidnapper. The end is predictable.

Director Mandeep Kumar keeps the pace steady, avoids melodrama and does a reasonable job. Music is good: no melodies but does not jar either. Photography does justice to this mostly outdoor film. Performance by Riteish Deshmukh is fair; having to just be him without any dramatics. Genelia Deshmukh has to generally look cute and make her trademark faces. Om Puri is very good with fair support from Tinu Anand and Smita Jaykar.

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, as mentioned earlier, is not expected to cast the spell a romance does due to real life lovers in the cast. The board exams period also works against it.

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