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14th Mar 2014

Bewakoofiyaan

Director: Nupur Asthana

Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoo,r Rishi Kapoor

It's been 20 minutes since the end credits rolled for Nupur Asthana's Bewakoofiyaan, and the thing I'm feeling most right now is...sleepy. You know how sometimes you're sitting with the TV on and you're staring straight at it but your eyes have glazed over? And then suddenly you snap back and re-focus and realise you've been watching a Telugu talk show for the last hour? Also that.

I'm always staring at Sonam Kapoor because I always love what she's wearing, but I've never been a fan of her acting skills. Then again, it's hard to be fanatical about something that doesn't exist, not even in one's imagination. So that she just kind of flip-flops about listlessly is expected. What confuddles me is this: when you also have the ridiculously talented Ayushmann Khurrana and the entirely capable Rishi Kapoor on your side, how do you still end up with such a boring film?

Mayera (Sonam Kapoor) and Mohit (Khurrana) are what a good Delhiite would call "d happy couplez". He's a senior sales and marketing executive at Air Connect Airways, she's..,got a job at an office in Gurgaon's Cyber Hub. (No, seriously, I have no idea what she does, except buy clothes from Zara and shoes from Steve Madden.) They've been together for two years, and they've both just landed promotions at their respective jobs. Beaming with excitement, Mohit breezes through all the right next steps: he buys a new car and then a gold credit card and then he pops The Question and now they're going to get married, whee! Except, he has to first formally ask her "terror" of a father V.K. Singh (Rishi Kapoor), who he's nicknamed Osama.

A recently retired government official, Singh decides he's going to now spend all his free time torturing Mohit, and putting him through a series of "tests" to prove his worth – especially since he's sceptical about how little money Mohit makes. Mohit is a good guy and all, so he cheerfully agrees to Singh's endless terms and conditions. They do things like, er, play squash together, and Singh slyly runs background checks on his future son-in-law. Just as he seems to be scoring points, his company goes bankrupt and sacks a bunch of people, including Mohit. Ding, ding, ding, diiiiiiing. Whatever will he do now?

The answer is: whoever even cares? The cast of Bewakoofiyaan struggles to put together something humourous and touching, but ends up being unable to pull off either. So then they take Ayushmann's shirt off, and put Sonam in a neon pink bikini, but even that doesn't work. As for the relationship between Mayera and Mohit, the audience basically has to take the dialogue-writer's word for it, because on-screen there's practically no chemistry between the two. As much as I love Khurrana and wanted this to be a hit for him (and not just because I have extra love for squash-racquet wielders), Bewakoofiyaan is, sadly, an easy miss.

-Ravina Rawal

 
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