Shuddh Desi Romance: A confused love story

Shuddh Desi Romance in its theme is quite contrary to its title. There is nothing shuddh or desi about it. The film is more about current generation of urban youth who believe in relationships and live-in partners but no commitment as in a marriage.


Producers: Aditya Chopra.

Direction: Maneesh Sharma.

Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor (Debut).


Sushant Singh Rajput is on his way to tie the knot. His baraat reaches the town and place of his bride to be, Vaani Kapoor. The mood is joyous; guests in all their fineries are present. An elder or whatever one may call him from Rajput’s side is Rishi Kapoor, a wedding caterer who also fixes up fake baraatis. In fact, he does just about everything related to the event of a wedding. It is time for the final commitment as the groom and bride come face to face to garland each other. That is when Rajput gets cold feet and on the pretext of going to the loo, he vanishes. The bride to be orders a cold drink to get over the shock.


In a way, the one responsible for Rajput’s decision was Parineeti Chopra who was part of his baraat and occupying a seat next to his in the baraat bus. He is attracted to her, instinctively kisses her and also learns to smoke from her. He is impressed by her way of life. She lives alone in Jaipur, pursues her studies and also teaches English at a ‘Speak English’ kind of class. She also joins Rishi Kapoor’s gang of fake baraatis to earn some extra cash. Both start dating and soon Rajput moves in with her.


The duo’s life is full of fun, romance and sex and on one night under the influence of alcohol, they decide to marry. Rishi Kapoor makes the arrangements and it is time to exchange garlands. But, this time, it is Parineeti who suddenly wants to visit the loo. Rajput has been paid in his own coin as the bride takes the same route as he did earlier.


Rajput is not destined to stay without a woman. The girl he deserted, Vaani, has shifted to Jaipur after he ditched her. As Rishi Kapoor lures Rajput into playing a fake baarati in one more wedding, Vaani is boarding the same bus headed for wedding venue for she is a cousin of the groom. She decides to make friendship with him with the idea of taking revenge for what he had done to her.  In the process she falls for Rajput who has quickly forgotten Parineeti and is now in love with Vaani.


Life is beautiful for the couple when, in this film with baraats and weddings as background, there is one more wedding to attend for Rajput and Vaani. As expected, Parineeti is there too. The host at the wedding creates a situation whereby both get to be together for some time. Both realise they are still in love. But Rajput is now in a moral quandary: Vaani has been so nice to him and so much in love with him, he does not want to betray her.


In a film where women are depicted as more surefooted and of strong will, the problem solves itself thanks to one of the two women in love. Rajput and Parineeti decide to give getting married another try and again Rishi Kapoor does the needful. He is very worried about the future of his business. If men and women stay together without marriage, that would ruin his business. Who runs to the loo this time? Well, the film advocates live-in relationships and that is how things settle.


The film has just four main characters in Rishi Kapoor, Rajput, Parineeti and Vaani in a shorter role compared to others. Rishi Kapoor plays one more different character with his usual aplomb. Rajput plays the uncertain youth living life on day-to-day basis and vulnerable to romance with ease. Parineeti is impressive and adds to her reputation as a confident performer. Vaani has a pleasant demeanour and smiles her way through a brief but a relevant role very well.


Direction is good keeping an easy pace and generally keeping a pleasant atmosphere in the film. However, some trimming could have helped. The film has a couple of peppy numbers. Shot at some populated town locations and some scenic Rajasthan outdoors, it makes for pleasant viewing.


Shuddh Desi Romance aims at contemporary youth as a lot many identify with the theme. Having opened well at both, single screens as well as multiplexes, this economically produced, digitally-released (no physical prints) film is sure to reap reasonably rich dividends.


Zanjeer: A complete mockery of a classic

Producers: Reliance Entertainment, Puneet Prakash Mehra, Sumeet Prakash Mehra.

Direction: : Apoorva Lakhia.

Cast: Ramcharan, Priyanka Chopra, Prakash Raj.


While budgets have gone up to multi-crores, content has dried up. At their peak, Salim-Javed assured an interesting script though all the films they wrote could not become Zanjeer, Deewaar or Trishul. They got equal billing in the titles and made writers respectable in the industry. There were half a dozen other writers who were household names. Today, one can’t think of any script writer whose film people look forward to. Once in a while, one comes across a writer’s triumph in films like Dirty Picture, Kahaani, Vicky Donor or Oh My God! But, usually these turn out to be one-off affairs. The result is either remakes of South film, sequels or remakes of old hits. Agreed, one can’t better an old classic but can’t one refrain from slaughtering it?


Ramcharan is a police officer in Hyderabad who does not believe in going by the rule book and believes in instant solutions. To showcase that, the film starts with Ramcharan bashing up a political protester who had blocked all the traffic on a main road for a couple of hours. This earns him his 17th transfer and he is despatched to Mumbai where he is welcomed by the commissioner of police with a warning to hold back his anger. So far so good, here onwards starts the piecemeal destruction of the original.


A district collector on his way home with a toy for his little son happens to see fuel adulteration activities happening openly. He decides to click pictures with his cell phone as a proof. The goons notice him and burn him to death. Priyanka Chopra watches the incident and calls up the police. Chopra is an NRI from the US and is in town for a couple of days only to attend the wedding of her Facebook friend. She is asked to identify the dead body which she does and decides to return to the US. On the way to the airport, her vehicle is smashed by a truck with the purpose of killing her. Why should that be done when she is going back for good? In any case, the car she was in is burnt along with her money and passport. Ram Charan offers her shelter at his home.


As if some button was clicked, Priyanka instantly falls in love with Ramcharan. He has a past which haunts him in his sleep. He dreams of a huge knife-wielding horse rider in a hood with a tattoo on his forearm. Also, his parents were murdered when they come out of a restaurant after celebrating his eighth birthday. Brought up by his policeman uncle, he also joins the force when he is grown up.


There is no secret about who the culprit is behind the oil mafia who, obviously, turns out to be the killer behind his parents’ death. Meanwhile, Ram Charan is suspended from the force for killing a criminal in his custody with third degree torture. He is now free to go after the villain, Prakash Raj, as he does not have to follow the limitations of a policeman. There are a couple of one-upmanship scenes after which the inevitable climax fight follows as the villain is meted out a suitable death.


Zanjeer is a totally botched up script and the stars also join the director to make a total mess of it. Ramcharan is good in action scenes but otherwise acts like any filmy cop, showing no passion or pain as he carries the burden of his parents’ death and the mystery man riding a horse. Priyanka puts on a juvenile act; what was she trying, playing a cute moppet? Prakash Raj plays his usual comic villain. So much so that without titles or co-stars in the frame it could be any of his films one is watching. Music is in overdose with just the first half having as many as six songs. Editing needed to be taut.


Zanjeer fares poorly if compared to the original 1973 Zanjeer, this version is a sacrilege.

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