Film Review: 'Hasee Toh Phasee'
Opened: 7 February 2014
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Adah Sharma, Manoj Joshi, Sharat Saxena, Neena Kulkarni
Director: Vinil Mathew
Producer: Karan Johar, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap
A tagline that reads ‘Love Goes Cuckin’ Frazy’ is bound to raise your curiosity either which way, even if you can sniff the basic premise and indeed the climax of the film a mile away. Hasee Toh Phasee is a modern day romcom, which despite having a done to death plot, sails through purely because of the effervescence of its charming lead pair, and some really quirky ‘out there’ characters, which even if a little far fetched, make it a fun watch.
The film spans several years and revolves around Nikhil (Malhotra), who despite all his well-meaning intentions, struggles to keep both his sinking event management company and his floundering love life afloat. The object of his affections, his demanding fiancée, an aspiring actress Karishma (Sharma, efficient yet quite bland), is never quite satisfied however hard he tries, and things get even more complicated, when she thrusts the responsibility of her pill popping, hypochondriac, albeit intellectually gifted sister Meera (Chopra) on to him.
Unsurprisingly, love transpires between the pair who’d met briefly many moons ago, thereafter leading to a series of not so convincing plot twists, that eventually lead to a finale which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Most Hindi films often suffer the ‘second half curse’, whereby a fairly promising film, nosedives in the second half making way for clichéd plot holes and hurried screenplay, but in a rarity of sorts here a film actually picks up substantially in its second half, with some genuinely witty, rib tickling moments not just between the leading protagonists, but between a few of the film’s key supporting players too.
Admittedly, some of the subplots involving Meera’s rather dubious projects abroad or the ongoing bitterness between her and other members of her extended, orthodox Gujarati family are a little melodramatic and unnecessary, and could have been shortened and/or cut entirely, but that’s just a minor niggle in this charming little film that, for all intents and purposes, definitely has its heart in the right place.
Films like Hasee Toh Phasee rely heavily on chemistry rather than actual content, and thankfully, here too the relatively inexperienced lead pair don’t disappoint in the slightest. The camaraderie between Sidharth and Parineeti is charming, cute and fresh and manages to keep things engaging for the most part, barring the last 10 to 15 minutes when it all begins to drag slightly.
Parineeti has a knack for pulling off zany characters, and here too she knocks it out of the park as the eccentric Meera, who despite her flaws, remains endearing right till the end. Sidharth, in just his second film springs a pleasant surprise, bringing the required earnestness and naiveté needed to pull of Nikhil, and overall looks a lot more at ease, by bringing a quiet confidence to his part that wasn’t so evident in his first film.
I’m going with three stars for Hasee Toh Phasee. It’s a kooky, quirky romcom with a lead pair that sparkle together, and unlike recent Dharma productions’ it’s oven fresh and has plenty of soul. Go for it.
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