Behen Hogi Teri movie cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shruti Haasan, Gautam Gulati, Gulshan Grover, Ranjeet, Kamlesh Gill, Darshan Jariwala, Ninad Kamat, Herry Tangri
Behen Hogi Teri movie director: Ajay K Pannalal
Behen Hogi Teri movie rating: 1.5 stars
‘Din mein bhaiyaa, raat mein saiinyaa’. The premise of this film reminded me of a delicious near-forgotten jungle saying, which means, brother by day, lover by night. This phrase has deep meaning in a certain kind of North Indian ethos where the ‘ ladkiyon-ko-taadne-waley-mohalle-ke-lafangey’ was kept in check with that awful threat of a thread on the wrist: if a girl made you her `rakhi brother’, all dreams of becoming anything else were instantly dashed.
We come upon Gattu (Rajkummar Rao), his best friend (Herry Tangri) and company, cowering in a Lucknow corner because they don’t want this fate worse than death to befall them. Especially because the love of Gattu’s life, Binny (Shruti Haasan) is one of those firebrand type ‘phuljharis’ who goes around pointing to potential ‘saiyaans’ and turning them into sniveling `bhaiyyas’.
Gattu and Binny live across the `gali’ from each other, so we hear a lot of family banter, and neighbourhood chatter. A few more characters, in the shape of grizzled veterans Gulshan Grover and Ranjeet crop up. But it’s all so banal that it’s hard to get excited about the fate of any of these people, and the assorted `bhais’ and `behens’, all looking for suitable brides and grooms, as the case may be. And this film may be set in Lucknow, but there is nothing Lucknowi about it: given the degree of Jat-ness in the air, character and lines-wise, it could well have been somewhere in Haryana.
It’s also flat. Which is a pity because there is some potential in here. A couple of cheeky subversions — of the standard ‘Rahul-Raj’ type Bollywood lover, of a belligerent fellow turning weepy, the title itself — are not as impactful as they could have been in a smarter film. And why do husbands have to do ‘raksha’ in place of brothers? Women are quite capable of taking care of themselves, no? Or at least that’s what a film in 2017 ought to be saying.
The only element worth looking at in this film, apart from the dependable Kamat, is the rock-solid Rao. If he was given a better co-star than the strictly one-note Haasan, this might have turned out to be a better film.