The dynamics of relationships have undergone a change but it’s not reflected in most of our films. Tanuja Chandra takes up the challenge with QARIB QARIB SINGLLE and with this slice of life saga, she attempts to talk about the various facets of dating in today’s world. So does it connect with the viewers or fails in entertaining them? Let’s analyse.
QARIB QARIB SINGLLE is a story of two people who meet on a dating website and their journey across the country. Jaya (Parvathy Thiruvothu) is a 35 year old widow who feels a void in her life. She signs up on a dating website and meets a 40 year old poet Yogi (Irrfan Khan). He's quirky, talkative and diametrically opposite to Jaya. But Jaya feels connected to him. Yogi claims that he has dated three girls in his life and they all miss him a lot still. Jaya tells him that he's simply bragging. Yogi however remains adamant on his claims and tells her to join him in meeting them. Jaya refuses at first but then agrees. How this trip takes their relationship forward forms the rest of the film.
QARIB QARIB SINGLLE commences on a great note. The opening credits very well explain how lonely Jaya is. Jaya-Yogi's first meeting is hilarious. The mischief that Yogi does with the lecherous men who had pinged Jaya on the dating app is sure to bring the house down. The real fun however begins when their trip commences and the various mishaps that happen on the way add to the fun. The Rishikesh episode is sweet and light. The Alwar episode has its moments but the film drags and the interest level drops. The interest however is revived in the Gangtok sequence.
Kamna Chandra’s story is extremely relatable as it talks about loneliness, need for relationship, dating apps etc. Also, the two main characters are well written which helps the film stand out. Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal’s screenplay is breezy and simple. The nuances and subtle hints are nicely inserted in the film. Gazal Dhaliwal’s dialogues are one of the highpoints of the film. Many one liners take the film on a high.
Tanuja Chandra’s direction is neat and the film is drastically different from the intense films that she has made in the past. She has handled the plot with maturity and sensitivity. This helps in giving the film a nice touch. At the same time, the film is very niche. The mainstream appeal is definitely missing. Also the film moves at a slow pace and the Alwar episode is a bit of a downer.
Irrfan Khan yet again delivers a spectacular performance. He is a pro when it comes to such quirky performances. Yet he ensures that you won’t be reminded of his similar previous performance. That’s no easy feat. Parvathy Thiruvothu is a powerhouse performer and steals the show. She is an unknown name in Bollywood as of now but after this film, she’ll surely be talked about. Brijendra Kala is funny in the cameo. Neha Dhupia (Anjali) is alright. Pushtiie Shakti (Radha) is impressive. Isha Sharvani (Gazal) is there for a one minute sequence and is alright. Siddharth Menon (Ashish) is quite good especially in his scenes with Yogi. Luke Kenny (Sidkong) is okay. Navneet Nishan and the actor playing the driver are good.
The songs sadly don’t make an impact. ‘Khatam Kahani’ is the most memorable. ‘Jaane De’ and ‘Tu Chale Toh’ are forgettable. The background score is subtle and effective. Eeshit Narain’s cinematography is breathtaking. The lensman has captured the locales of Rishikesh, Rajasthan and Gangtok beautifully. Chandan Arora’s editing is fair although few scenes are slightly stretched. Ravi Shrivastava’s production design is rich. Maria Tharakan and Kirti Kolwankar’s costumes are eye catching, especially the ones worn by Irrfan.
On the whole, QARIB QARIB SINGLLE is a feel good love story cum road trip film. Despite low buzz and not much of a mass appeal, the film leaves a smile on your face and has the potential for young and urban audiences.