We rarely come up with small-town stories. That's because presenting the urban lifestyle has become a norm. Another reason could be the Indian diaspora/NRI audience doesn't relate to small-town stories. The NRI audience contributes a big chunk of revenue and film-makers are keen on tapping the income generated from international shores. JO DOOBA SO PAAR, directed by Praveen Kumar, makes you travel to the bylanes of a town in Bihar that is populated with a bunch of engaging characters.
While the director has an interesting plot on hand, it's the screenplay that lets him down. The end result is that JO DOOBA SO PAAR is heart-felt and intermittently enjoyable, but not delightful in totality.
Kishu [Anand Tiwari] is kicked out of school. He assists his father [Dadhi Pandey] on the truck. One fine day, he spots an American girl, Sapna [Sita Ragione Spada], who has come to Bihar for research. Kishu falls in love with her, not knowing what her true feelings are. Kishu is crestfallen when her American boyfriend [Alexx O'Neil] comes visiting. The story takes a turn when Sapna gets kidnapped.
First things first! First-time director Praveen Kumar needs to be lauded for choosing an attention-grabbing story. His intent is earnest, but the screenplay, soon after the American girl is kidnapped, gets formulaic. The portions -- how Kishu and his friends bust the kidnap drama -- looks farcical. One wonders what prompted the director to take the easy route, when he was walking a new path all the while. Also, the film could've done without a couple of songs.
Most of the burden lies on Anand Tiwari's able shoulders and I wish to add that he delivers a sincere and genuine performance. Rajat Kapoor is perfect, while Vinay Pathak suffers due to a half-baked character. The love story between Vinay and Sadia Siddiqui doesn't work. Sita Ragione Spada makes a fine effort. Pitobash is cast in an inconsequential role. Dadhi Pandey is first-rate. Alexx O'Neil is passable.
On the whole, JO DOOBA SO PAAR is a strictly okay fare, with some endearing moments and some not-too-charming ones.