It is ironical that the Parsi community in India which has contributed (directly or indirectly) to the creation of several luminaries in various fields (music, industry, politics) is often represented in our Bollywood productions by characters who only have quirky characteristics. There is a lot of lampooning which happens in the name of humour and if this is absent, we have grim portrayals in full length movies (Being Cyrus, Pestonjee). The last full length movie about this community (which I recall seeing) which paints them in normal hues was in the late seventies: KHATTA MEETHA, a warm comedy starring Ashok Kumar and Pearl Padamsee directed by Basu Chatterjee.
More than three decades later on, Sanjay Leela Bhansali picks up courage to produce a two hour feature film on this community. Directed by his sister, Bela Bhansali, SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI (SFKTNP) comes across as a warm-hearted romantic comedy which is a must watch for several reasons. One, the characters are ordinary mortals with their own set of foibles. The hero is a salesman at a lingerie shop who dreams of starting his own lingerie shop called UNDERWORLD, he is 45 years of age and single, stays with his overbearing mom (played convincingly by Daisy Irani) and his granny. He commutes in a scooter with a side-car and displays an awkward shyness when it comes to displaying romantic affection. The female lead is also in her forties, single because of family responsibilities and quite at home with her buxom personality. Secondly, the sensitive way in which Bela Bhansali captures the ups and downs in the romance between the lead artistes without an overdose of sentimentality is really refreshing. The last but the most important reason is the sterling performance by all the actors. Farah Khan, the well known choreographer and film maker makes her acting debut as the female lead actor and does a pretty good job. But the performance of Boman Irani as the bachelor caught between not displeasing his mom and wanting to experience his romantic dreams at his age is the one which can be rated as truly outstanding. Since it is not very often that Bollywood gives a platform for actors like Boman Irani to do a full length hero role, it will be very sad if he does not get the Best Actor award for this movie.
The movie does have scenes of toilet humour, but thankfully that does not detract from the way the main story unfolds on the screen. What is jarring, however, are the scenes featuring the mayhem in the committee meetings and the overdrawn episode during the end featuring the cops and the neighbours. But that is a small price to pay to watch an otherwise clean comedy with a heart!
RATING: 4 out of 5
August 24th, 2012

About The eternally happy Vijay

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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