Meri Pyaari Bindu movie cast: Parineeti Chopra, Ayushmann Khurrana, Aparajita Auddy
Meri Pyaari Bindu movie director: Akshay Roy
Meri Pyaari Bindu movie rating: 2 stars
Abhimanyu Roy, also known by his ‘daak naam’ Bubla (Ayushmann Khurrana), is a corporate type-turned-pulp novelist. Bindu Shankarnaryanan (Parineeti Chopra) only known as Bindu, is an aspiring singer who turns… she knows not what, for the longest time. In Meri Pyaari Bindu, these two come and go, come and go, and leave us wanting more.
To not know what you want is not a crime. Drifting can be a perfectly respectable occupation. Or preoccupation, depending upon how you look at it. Abhi is smitten with the girl-next-door Bindu at a very young age, and we see them grow into prank-filled teenage and what passes for adulthood in Bollywood. But to keep us interested in this construct of a ditsy, selfish, flighty, confused female lead for two hours and more becomes an exercise in patience, because Bindu herself isn’t interesting enough. And that’s the trouble with Meri Pyaari Bindu, which proves that Bollyland romance still hasn’t got over its ‘500 Days Of Summer’ overhang.
For a rom com (as one character in the film points out so presciently, how different can love stories be) to stand out from the ones that have been done before, setting, situations and characters have be new. Or new-ish. Ayushmann Khurrana, as the steadfast Bubla (lovely touch, that pet name), fares a little better because he is given more to play with. Parineeti Chopra is written minus requisite depth, and stays on the surface. Yes, she is bubbly, and cute, and all the descriptors given above, but that’s not enough.
As befits a Yashraj production, everything else is in place. Much of it is set in Calcutta, before it became Kolkata, and Bubla’s large, loving, boisterous carrom-playing Bengali family is spot on. When you hear the lilting ‘jeebone ki pabo na’ playing in the background, you smile, because well, how many times have you plucked out that song on a guitar and sung along if you have lived with that kind of family, or friend?
Speaking of which, the background music in Meri Pyaari Bindu will resonate with those who loved making ‘mixed tapes’ (audio cassettes), which could be played on the two-in-ones so commonly used through the 80s. And what’s not to love about that evergreen love song full of wistfulness and longing: abhi na jaao chhod kar… through which Bubla and Bindu connect?
You need to feel that same kind of wistfulness and longing between the will-they, won’t-they lovers too. Khurrana and Chopra have a connection — they laugh at the same things even after they’ve left childhood and adolescence behind — but raise too little steam.
At one point, Bindu is on the phone, speaking to Bubla, her nail varnish chipped, her make up not immaculate: she is messy, and that’s perfect, because conveying emotions is a messy business. Chopra comes alive in that scene, and makes the bittersweetness that the film is after, come to the fore too. She’s feeling the words, not just saying the line. If that had spilled over into the film, it would have made us feel.
Because that’s what solidly-crafted rom coms do.