Film: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2
Cast: Kartik Aryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sunny Singh, Omkar Kapoor, Ishita Raj, Sonnalli Seygall, Mona Ambegoankar, Sharat Saxena
Director: Luv Ranjan
When ‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’ hit the theatres around 5 years ago, it did not score a hit at the Box-office. But the adult romcom that tapped into deep rooted misogynistic hatred for women on the make, managed to catch the fancy of the video circuit powered by youngsters on the cusp of far-reaching internet freedom. Word of mouth propelled it into the revered portals of a cult sleeper hit. Unfortunately the filmmakers did not receive their just dividends. So here we are- in another attempt to cash in on the cult concept, and it’s not as much a sequel as it is a revisit to the familiar acerbity of yore.
Granted the take is fancier, spiffier, sharper and much better defined. Luv Ranjan has grown as a director in the intervening years. ‘Akaash Vani’which followed close on the heels of his first outing did not have the required bandwidth for entertainment. And it vanished without a trace soon enough. So I wouldn’t blame Ranjan for revisiting his old ‘haunts’ to re-envision his misogynistic tale about three young men who fall in love with three avaricious, demanding and on-the-make women and end up pouring verbal acid in order to assuage the pain of their gaping, festering heartfelt wounds. It’s satisfying in a corny way mostly.
The film is not exactly funny. It just feels deep rooted and comes from deep seated angst harbored by the Director/writer. Of course it’s likely to ring many bells in the hearts of young harried, male lovers who have been reeling under the unbearable pressures of demanding, conniving, sneaky girl-friends. The raw , fresh appeal of the original is lost forever no doubt but the generation that hasn’t seen the original are not likely to see this film as wanting. There’s unadulterated acerbity being poured on womankind and it’s done with a great deal of glee.
The movie begins with the three guys setting out on individual pursuits. Go Go (Karthik) meets Chiku (Nushrat Bharucha) at a party and promptly falls for her. Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) meets his match-up, Kusum (Ishita Raj) at the gym while Chauka (Sunny Singh) bumps into his dream girl Suupriya(Sonnalli Seygall) at a friend’s wedding. While the three women are eagerly amenable at first, they also make the men dance to their every tune and in between try and cause friction between the three friends.
Chiku is rich, has a coterie of girl friends and boyfriends and is extremely demanding of GoGo. Kusum is a gold-digger in going-dutch guise while Suupriya likes to keep Chauka dangling while she whiffs at other opportunities. Needless to say the men have all the sympathy while the women are painted a dark shade of black. No grey areas here. It’s the war of the sexes and the scales are heavily loaded in favor of the men.
The film is intermittently funny and has some hard-hitting touchy-feely dialogues against women. If you are a misogynist then you are most likely to enjoy the tirade otherwise you’ll question the very idea of a one-sided resounding slap in the face of women where the concept and ideology cannot stand-up to closer scrutiny. Kartik Aryan gets a much longer monologue rant to rave about and he is more than equal to the task. Sunny Gill has a puppy dog appeal while Omkar Kapoor looks the part of the Uber yuppie.
All the three actresses fit well into the narrow frames designed for them. Music is also used quite judiciously here. The production values allow for a slicker and more up-market façade while the narrative fluency (within its narrow gainsaying constraints) allows for a focused reproach. This film is designed to please a niche audience no doubt. And word of mouth could do the rest.