August 24, 2012 6:26:54 pm
Cast: Boman Irani,Farah Khan,Daisy Irani,Mahabanoo Kotwal,Shammi
Director: Bela Bhansali Sehgal
Indian Express Rating: ***
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the mother of a middle-aged Parsi bachelor must be in want of a daughter-in-law. Because,really,who wants to spend the rest of their life cooking ‘salli boti for sonny boy? Farhad Pastakia,45,seller of womens undergarments,and helplessly unmarried,is in posession of such a one. He calls her Mummy,listens to her,and humours her ; in short,he is dutiful. And then love comes calling,in the shape of the sprited Shirin Fugawala,and everything changes.
Bela Bhansali Sehgal,sister of Sanjay Leela Bhansali,delivers an assured debut with Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi,in which,by smart casting,Boman Irani and Farah Khan ( yes,she who directed Main Hoon Na,Om Shanti Om and Tees Maar Khan ) are paired as the past-the-first-flush-of-youth lovers. Being around pretty lingerie can be both boon and bane,as Farhad discovers when Shirin first walks into the store where he works : he fumbles,talks sizes,goes red; she is embarrassed,too. But then they pick up the movies tone– gentle,amused– and go straight into matter-of-fact romance mode.
Weve seen Bomans Parsi acts several times before. His last outing had him play one in Ferrari Ki Sawaari,where he is made to grouch far too much. Here his Farhad is just right,with not a step out of place : a mommys boy who loses his heart with a touch of wistfulness. The rest of the cast( Daisy as Farhads over-loving mummy,Shammi as his loving grandma,and Mahabanoo as Shirins aunty) is good,too : Sehgal is not interested in sending up the Parsis from the outside ; all the digs about the mad bawas come,fittingly,from within the community. The humour is mostly unforced,even if a couple of the jokes get stretched ( and yes they do,causing minor annoyance,even in this film which fits smoothly around its characters ).
The real surprise is Farah Khan,who overcomes a few moments of flatness to inhabit her character well. Shes done a cameo or two before,but this is her first full-fledged role. Khans Shirin does not,thank god,simper. Nor is she faux coy. She is a woman with feelings,who likes tea,not coffee,the colour red,not black,and wears her buxomness with pride. Even when the film slides into its repetitive loops,these two keep you smiling. And even though the songs are superfluous,its a joy to see them dance : Boman is a terrific hoofer; Farah,real-life-choreographer,moves well too. How about a dance film with these two as rival instructors?
Meanwhile,well stay with this love story. Not scintillating,but sweet.
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