Director: Maneesh Sharma
Indian Express Rating: **
Dilli ka tadka,Mumbai ka masala,Lucknow ki nazakat,Goa mein shararat : you can fit ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’ into these segments,along with their components,and you get a film which is more blah than Bahl. Ask any self-respecting Dilliwali ,and she will tell you abe yaar,Bahls can be anything but that.
Ask Dimple Chaddha (Chopra),the ace-in-the-hole of this film. She lives in a gargoyle of a house,has a property dealer father who wears a red velvet gown which matches his hennaed hair,and a mother who believes her darling daughter is off to a sangeet rather than the ‘disc’ she is headed to. Off with the lehenga,on with the boob tube,and shes all set. So is the object of her affection,a buff gym trainer,head-band,muscles and all,who happily leads her up the garden path.
Over in Mumbai is the svelte Raina Parulekar (Dipannita) whose ascent up the corporate ladder depends upon her getting a big ticket painting for a big ticket office opening. The hook and the crook is provided by a charming fellow who talks her into a deal which involves a great deal of cash and major disappointment.
Meanwhile,in Lucknow,Saira (Aditi) runs into a soorma-eyed kapde-wala who takes her paisa and potential pyaar,and waltzes off. The three ladies,and a fourth (Anushka)– the collective weapon to Get Their Own Back hare off to Goa where the con (Ranveer) is holed up. And that leads us to beaches,babes,and bikinis,the mandatory Yashraj accessory.
The trouble with Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is that there are no surprises at all. The challenge with the talented team that gave us the delightful Band Baaja Baraat ,with Ranveer-Anushka,Faisal (dialogues),Maneesh (direction) and producers Yashraj was to make this one different. Most of the killer lines belong to newcomer Parineenti Chopra who narrowly misses being the prototype Dilli ki kudi but only by a whisker,and only because she gets in a couple of nice touches. Dipannita sparks occasionally too. The Lucknow mohtarma is blameless and bland.
This may be only Ranveers second film but already he feels like he’s used up all the twitches that made him so watchable in his debut. Here he is overtstyled,appearing,lord save us,in a beret. And Anushka needs a radical change,having got stuck in the groove — good girl with heart ,brash mouth,saved by emotion.
‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’ proves that old adage : newness has a habit of wearing off.