Behen Hogi Teri: Too benign to be meaningful

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shruti Haasan, Harry Tangiri, Darshan Jariwala, Ninad Kamat

Director: Ajay Pannalal

This film is as weird and stupid as it can get. Gattu (Raj Kumar Rao) and Binny (Shruti Hassan) love each other and it did not come easy. He, in fact, had to prove to her that his childhood old infatuation was not just a flimsy one.

Yet, just when their love was beginning to grow in leaps and bounds, Gattu’s father Nautiyal (Darshan Jariwala) and Binny’s Brother Jaidev (Ninad Kamath), quite convinced there’s romance brewing between Binny and Bhura (Harry Tangiri) who comes from a gun wielding clan, unwittingly put the brakes on their romance.

So Gattu has to play pretend brother instead (which he hates). To top that Binny also ends up engaged to an NRI Rahul (Gautam Gulati). The story is flimsy and the treatment quite inappropriate to an aware social value system. Masochism, patriarchy and all the other gender-related ills that activists have striven to strike down through arduous long-drawn campaigns, flower in this benign and bigoted universe filled with brash Punjabi brethren, inhabitants of an overbearingly filmy Lucknow.

Rajkumar Rao shows off his sensitive side here. When Gattu gets rejected you can feel his pain and the drunken scene that comes with it, though stereotypical, is handled with self-effacing distinction. His diatribe against the Rahuls and Rajs is quite worthy. But it’s all to no avail because Shruti Hassan is not equally malleable and neither is she convincing.

Harry Tangiri does a gem of a job as Bhura, though. None of the cast of actors looks to be in their teens yet they are shown to be behaving in unbecoming juvenile fashion. Immaturity and regression get romanticised here in traditional Bollywood fashion.

There’s playfulness and charm in the writing, set-ups and performances to start off with but it soon dwindles down to inevitable and unpardonable boredom brought on by un-inventiveness. The lack of chemistry between the leads is also galling. It’s clear from this outing that Bollywood writers are beginning to sell third rate crap to gullible producers.

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