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Movie Review: It's not 'Shandaar' it's bizarre

November 03, 2015 08:20 PM

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapur, Sanah Kapur

Director: Vikas Bahl

Rating: **

What do you call a film that seems so dizzy-headed that it doesn't know where it is headed, or wait, perhaps so sure of itself that takes a strut towards that forbidden area of superiority complex? It takes two long hours (which feels longer) for one to gauge which category 'Shaandaar' falls into. But by the end of it, you stop caring.

This film is supposedly a fairy tale with a quirky take. One would naturally expect dollops of delight, but ironically and disappointingly, Shaandaar chooses to kill us with cliches than charm us with its idiosyncrasies.

Alia (Alia Bhatt), is a nerdy, intelligent, chirpy young woman who has a yawningly predictable back story, narrated to us through Naseeruddin Shah's velvety voice. It is this voice that also informs us of some hotchpotch theory of Alia being an insomniac who hasn't slept for the last 25 years and that some day, some man will put her to sleep. She is crazy about her dad Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapur) and sister (Sanah Kapur), but hates her mother (Nicki Aneja Walia) and conniving grandmother (Sushma Seth). You know it is a case of unimaginative casting when Seth is cast as a rich, wily woman with a pearl necklace around her neck. She must be sleepwalking through such roles by now.

Alia meets Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor) just days before her sister's wedding in a dreamy castle. And guess what, the spirited and good hearted JJ is also an insomniac. While he constantly spars with Alia's protective father, he bonds with her over their lack of sleep and 'inability' to dream.

The fairytale setting, though seen often in rom-coms set in England, is perfect with the said castle, yards of greenery around it and platters and platters of colourful cupcakes and other such goodies making the rounds. However, what is sorely missing is the magic that generally comes along with such settings and a romantic story woven around it.

Shahid and Alia, being the talented actors that they are, make a lovely pair. In fact, one scene where they spend an evening together just goofing around is so lovely that it wistfully tells us about what this movie could have been, if the makers didn't have their head stuck in the clouds. Hope to see this pairing in a better setting. Pankaj Kapur, undeniably a brilliant actor, does his job pretty well. Sanah is confident and endearing.

The story lacks imagination, the screenplay is shoddy and the dialogues unfunny. Some humour goes unlaughed at and rest goes undigested. For instance, there's a scene where it is hinted that a respected business magazine takes money to put people on their covers, and another one when a young lad sets his grandma on fire.

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