Bollywood is breaking new grounds. Most production houses are experimenting with new scripts, directors, and styles of filmmaking. Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) best known for their medium-budget, experimental and unconventional films like âChameliâ, âEk Khiladi Ek Haseenaâ, âHazaaron Khwaishein Aisiâ, and âJhankar Beatsâ have once again introduced us to a novel idea in filmmaking with their latest production â âPyaar Ke Side Effectsâ.
Siddhart, a.k.a DJ Sid (Rahul Bose), is afraid of commitment. His long-time girlfriend, Trisha (Mallika Sherawat) has just proposed to him (note the switch in roles) and a dumbfounded Sid does not know how to react. A hilarious exploration of modern-day relationships, societal norms, and character studies follow. Holding no bars, the director wittingly comments on several aspects from Sidâs height, his receding hair line to the disparity in Trisha and Sidâs salaries.
During Sid and Trishaâs process of comprehension of their emotions, we are introduced to more characters:
â˘ Sidâs pal, Nanoo (Ranveer Shourey), who Sid describes as âunmarriageableâ; â˘ An egotistical Tanya aka Baby Doll Vol 3 (Sophie Chaudhary) who tries to seduce Sid; â˘ Sidâs frantic sister Shalini (Taraana Raj) and her husband Kapil (Amir Bashir); â˘ Trishaâs feminist friend Anjali aka Dracula (Suchitra Pillai-Mallik) who despises Sid.
While we have seen contemporary films like this in the past such as âDil Chahta haiâ and âJhankaar Beatsâ, Saket Chaudhary still manages to impress in his debut as a writer and director with his innovative style. The entire narration is told episodically using anecdotes with Rahul Bose in first person. The dialogues and situations are identifiable and cleverly executed.
Saket is successful in sparking up some believable magic on screen with this unconventional and unlikely pairing. A number of scenes to particularly watch out for are:
â˘ Trishaâs proposal to Sid and his reaction thereafter; â˘ Trisha and Sidâs comprehensive comparisons of lifestyles in Mumbai and Delhi; â˘ Sid and Trisha double-dating with Baby Doll Vol 3 and Trishâs fiancĂŠ (Jas Arora).
Saketâs obsession with Sidâs analysis of the âside-effectsâ at every situation threatens to become exceptionally irritating, but the director, just about keeps it on the right side of it being exasperating.
One only wishes more attention was paid to the pace of the film. Crispier editing and a shorter running time would have made this film slicker. The music by Pritam, ranging from rock qawwali to bhangra is hip and suits the tone of the film.
Rahul Bose is once again, exceptional. The caricatured style of humour suits him, but given his range and acting abilities (as we have seen in âMr and Mrs Iyerâ and the soon to be released âKalpurushâ), he should be careful not to be typecast in such roles. Mallika Sherawat sinks her teeth into her role and delivers a robust performance as the urban savvy Trisha. She seems at ease portraying a character that breaks away from her self-created stereotypical image of a sex icon.
With all this going for it, âPyaar Ke Side Effectsâ will still be a matter of taste. Itâs borderline saccharine, but viewers like me, who have an aversion to the overtly sweet products of the Chopras and Johars should enjoy it!