What’s the next step, after ‘pyaar’? ‘Shaadi’, of course. The side effects of which, experienced warriors of holy matrimony know, can be serious: the lovers who couldn’t keep their hands off each other now find themselves grappling with more flesh they had bargained for – not only has she put on more weight, and he learnt to be diplomatic about it, they have a tiny bawling new life to take care of.
Has baby pooped? What colour and consistency? Burped? Fed? Conversation ranges along these lines. Romance is down to how much diapers cost. And mind-blowing midnight sex? What’s that?
The mantle of the harried married couple is worn by Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan, as we see them struggle with their ‘shaadi’ and its fall-out. ’Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ begins with a bang, pun completely intended, and we are taken in by Sid and Trisha’s life, so close to what we may have lived through. Or are wading through, as double income-no-kids turns into single income-cranky wife-desperate husband-demanding baby. All she can think of is the offspring. All he can think of, longingly, is the way it used to be—being a ‘boy’ with the boys, swilling beer, lounging on couch with the telly blaring, cheering at the game.
Till the half-way mark, Saket Chaudhary hits things right on the mark. Post-interval, the film is all over the place. Sid’s mentor ( Kapoor) takes him down a dodgy path which involves ‘me time’ carved out of a bunch of white lies. Out comes the tired homily : for a happy marriage, a few untruths are necessary. To stay consistent to this very guy thing, Sid is made to experiment with a change of image. The film, which was moseying along with sure-footed lightness, even if it was from an exclusionary male point of view, starts becoming forced.
Too square, declares the colourful-seeker-of-a-Manali-spliff (Das), who seems to have been bunged into the movie solely to talk up the bro code. What Sid needs is not his ‘family’ car and stiff collared shirts but two-wheels and whacky Tees and wheelies. The bikes, and babes, who appear in the mandatory clubby number, and a too-chatty bai (Arun) who arrives to save Trisha from tedious housework, and a schmaltzy patch, make the film confused and contrived.
While the going is good, ‘Shaadi’ is fun, and real, and has some nice laugh-out-loud situations which the leads make the most of. But marriage takes two, and the tango here is only from Sid’s perspective : how about showing us what it could be like from Trisha’s ? So naturally the film belongs more to Farhan, who plays it straight and true, even when he is being asked to do the most improbable stuff. Vidya is competent but limited, which could be down to the way her character was scrunched.
I really liked the climax, though: how about the next one starting from where this one ends?
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