After many years Ramesh Sippy has directed a ‘different; kind of love story. In Shimla Mirchi he teams up with his Sholay heroine Basanti, Hema Malini playing a pivotal role.
Hema Malini plays Rukmini, a woman who is pining after and obsessing over her husband (Kanwaljeet) even though he’s abandoned her and her daughter Naina (Rakul Preet Singh) and moved in with a much younger woman. Naina is worried for her mother and is trying her best to get her to sign the divorce papers and move on from her callous dad. That’s when Avinash (Rajkummar Rao) enters the scene.
Avinash promptly falls in love with Naina and decides to become a helper in Naina’s cafe, just to be around her. Avinash writes an anonymous love letter to Naina as he’s too shy to express his feelings for her and that makes things take a crazy turn. Rukmini misunderstands Avinash’s intentions and thinks he’s in love with her. The confusion only gets worse when Avinash’s boisterous family members (which includes characters played by Kiran Joneja and Priya Raina) visit Naina’s house, hoping for a marriage alliance between Naina and Avinash.
Sippy’s film has been stuck in the sidelines for five years as it couldn’t find any buyers, and that reflects on screen.
Set in Shimla, as the title suggests, the film looks beautiful, and in parts reminds you of the Ramesh Sippy magic of yesteryears. However, unfortunately in its entirety the film looks more disjointed and the story fails to entertain or keep you involved.
Rajkummar Rao is charming as ever and handles his character with all sincerity. Rakul Preet Singh overdoes it with her bubbly girl from a small town.. Plus there is zero chemistry between the lead pair. Probably since this was one of her earlier films she was yet to learn the ropes. Hema Malini looks beautiful as ever, but it seems like she’s more a part of it just for the heck of it and doesn’t really get what is happening around her. It is Shakti Kapoor who stands out with his character as the manager of Naina’s cafe. Also cameos by Sippy himself and Dharmendra add a bit of the much needed spice to the film.
This romcom is hardly funny and pretty dull for most part of it. Hope Sippy gets his magic back in his next outing.