Four years back, in ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’, we had three guys busy doing the guy thing: slopping around in a messy shared flat and thinking of girls, girls, girls, all work a by-product of this desire. Despite its pointedly callow pro-bro point of view, in which girls were all strictly hos, ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnaama’ was mostly fresh and funny in a we-are-all-poor-trod-upon-guys- together kind of way.
In ‘Pyaar Ka Punchanama 2’, all we get is more of the same, minus the freshness and the age-appropriate smart lines. The guys are older, live in a fancy home, and at least one of them earns much better. But they show no signs of being wiser or more able to manage their so-called love lives. Correction: dating life, which doesn’t seem to have as much ‘love’ in it, or any emotion approximating it, as juvenilia of the did-you-score kind.
The same old ‘bechara bhai-dom’ laced with the sort of casual ‘gaalis’ which were naturally used in the original appear forced this time around. And anyway they are blipped out, so we can see their mouths going ‘ooo’ which makes us supply the ‘ch’ sound all through the film: it’s not just the boys, even our presumed tolerance for cheerful invective has regressed.
Of the original cast, only one male actor has been retained. The girls are all back. And guess what, they are exactly the same stereotypes as last time, only more exaggerated and tiresome. One (Nushrat Bharucha) lets a male ‘old best friend yaa’ into the party, expecting her lover ( Aaryan) to ‘understand’. Another (Ishita Raj) is a gold-digger in an equal-rights guise, and it takes her credit-card bearing boyfriend (Omkar Kapoor) the entire length of the movie to suss her out. And the third (Sonnalli Seygall) keeps her wide-eyed fellow (Sunny Singh) dangling, while she’s off doing other stuff.
The girls are shopaholics. They are to be seen in various malls, speedily acquiring expensive cell phones and dresses which they do not ante up for: of course not, we are girls, what do you take us for? They are flighty. Not one has a good bone in her toned-by-hundreds-of-hours-on-the-treadmill bod. If an alien watched this film, it would go away thinking all girls are like these three supremely annoying manipulative young women.
As for the guys-who-are-forever-mamma’s boys, they are the victims of these devious females, who use their wiles, reel them in, and then string them along. Not one of them climbs out with any perspective or insight at all. What’s that?
The first had some punch and was okay for a bunch of laughs. The sequel is flat and unfunny.
Star Cast of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: Nushrat Bharucha, Kartik Aaryan, Sonnalli Seygall, Ishita Raj, Sunny Singh, Omkar Kapoor
Director: Luv Ranjan
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines