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Shuddh Desi Romance celebrates a simple but underrated philosophy

See the film not as a champion of ‘desi’ or ‘shuddh’, but a victory for romance.

Ironically, this movie belongs to a banner that has faced criticism for their glossy marriage-obsessed musical packages. With Shuddh Desi Romance, Yash Raj sanctions a script that parodies the event if not the institution with Jaideep Sahni’s humorously-penned repartees and a set of perfectly cast actors.

Whipping the hero to do their bidding, the women happen to be the stronger characters here; on occasion the correctness of the movie’s insolence is stifling. Not that anyone should have a problem with it but you can’t help but feel the telling might seem implicitly sanctimonious. There’s a hack for this. The young people here are not cowed by the stigma of abandoned weddings —  the race from ‘mandap’ to toilet is a joke that makes everyone giggle; young women are able to stand up to and hold their own against angry uncles who want to avenge family honour; gossips exist but they are not toxic and the movie indeed deserves a cheer for putting forward an India that isn’t hell-bent upon conservatism.

Parineeti Chopra is excellent as she tempers her feisty avatar with confusion and hesitation, for hers is the most complex role in the film. Sushant Singh Rajput is the yang to her yin: timid for most part channelizing his abundant energy to convey the childlike ineptitude of a man who wears his heart on a sleeve but flirting confidently at unexpected moments. Their interactions are perky and there’s always edginess in their relationship. Vaani Kapoor does well for herself in perhaps the trickiest role of the three with her sharp composure and quick-witted smile that is, as incisive as Sahni’s words, on occasions.

Shuddh Desi Romance unfolds in modern-day Jaipur (shot lavishly by Manu Anand) and maintains a tongue-in-cheek tone from start to finish, with the much-talked about 27 kisses in the film.

Writer Jaideep Sahni offers a perfectly logical explanation for the whimsical trifling and penetrating jibes which strives to deliver a simple but underrated philosophy in the most fun way possible – ‘marry because you want to, not because you must.’

 

 

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