Film: Qarib Qarib Singlle
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Parvathy
Director: Tanuja Chandra
Rating: * * *
Director Tanuja Chandra’s Dushman was a humdinger but thereafter all her films flattered to deceive. This one though did not even seem interesting- given that the promos were so flaccid and unexciting to boot. But surprise! surprise! This rom-com about two unlikely lovers-in the tradition of (notably) Cheeni Kum, Piku, Lunchbox, brings on the smiles – and quite easily at that.
The relationship between Vyogi and Jayshree starts off on the internet viz a dating website. A Thirty something, emotionally shrivelled-up widow, Jaya (Parvathy) was prodded by her bestie and colleague to get on to the dating bandwagon. And she finds her frog in Vyogi (Irrfan) who is an unpublished Shayar (poet) with loads of money and no work to speak of. After messaging a few times, they decide to meet at a café.
Though not the Prince charming she imagined, Vyogi’s casual banter piques Jaya’s interest and eventually she agrees to go on a platonic road trip that has them revisiting past loves and lovers from Dehradun to Alwar, Hrishikesh, Gangtok and back. Their coupling is rather contrived. It’s implausible that a highly cautious widow still reliving the good ole days of her decade defunct married life would just throw caution to the winds and go on a journey with a totally unsuitable man.
But we’ll let that go because what follows is a highly entertaining, superbly acted, smartly written series of foibles and little fables that tickle your funny bone and make you smile at the sheer forcibleness involved in the inevitability of their coming together. The magic of course comes from Irrfan Khan’s casual, resourceful, witty brilliance. Parvathy’s reserved expressiveness makes for a reflective foil that keeps our interest going.
The writing, while not meaty, manages to be light and effective-giving both characters free rein to let loose whenever required. And Surprisingly it works. This may not be a great film but it’s a highly entertaining one!