Depicting an extra-marital affair on the big screen has become a ritual for Bollywood producers. This time, Raj Kaushal not only looks at the pros and cons of marriage in his second venture SHAADI KA LADDOO, but also gives his take on extra-marital affairs.
Unfortunately, SHAADI KA LADDOO falls short of expectations on several counts. It entertains, but in parts. It has its share of enjoyable moments, but not enough to camouflage the glaring defects. Most importantly, the lifeline of the film - the light moments - try so hard to tickle your funny bone, but in vain.
In a nutshell, this laddoo is just not palatable!
Som's [Sanjay Suri] life had undergone a sea change after his marriage to Geetu [Divya Dutta], a nagging wife.
When Som visits London on a business trip, he bumps into his buddy, Ravi [Aashish Chowdhry]. He also gets a peak into Ravi's life, besides meeting his soul mate, Tara [Mandira Bedi]. Som gets attracted to her instantaneously.
Around the same time, comes the vivacious Meneka [Samita Bangargi] and Ravi's heart skips a beat.
Ravi and Som exchange roles. Som becomes the highflying philanderer, carrying his heart on his sleeve and putting his wife and family values in the backseat. His agenda, motive and drive is now to win Tara.
On a more pensive note, Ravi realizes that he wants what Som has - a doting wife, cute kids and a reason to live. He wants Meneka, but does not know how to win her over.
Back home in Indore, Geetu sniffs trouble and lands up in London just when things could have happened between Som and Tara. From then on, all hell breaks loose. But all's well that ends well!
SHAADI KA LADDOO could've been an ideal multiplex fare, but it leaves a sour taste at the end of the screening. And there are so many factors that compel you to feel that way.
The premise of the film is interesting, but the execution of the story leaves a lot to be desired. The problem here is that the film just doesn't connect with the viewer. Though the issue [marriage] has its share of supporters and adversaries, there was immense scope to lace the narrative with interesting anecdotes and incidents.
Unfortunately, the ones presented in the film tend to get so boring after a point that the viewer starts gasping for breath. That's the main drawback of the film!
Regrettably, the on-screen antics of the two guys [Aashish Chowdhry, Sanjay Suri] in SHAADI KA LADDOO also appear forced. Barring a few sequences between Sanjay Suri and his on-screen wife Divya Dutta, the remaining ones fall flat.
SHAADI KA LADDOO should've also had its share of witty one-liners, but the ones used in the film seem rehashed from B.R. Chopra's immensely successful Sanjeev Kumar starrer PATI PATNI AUR WOH and similar-genre films.
In these fast-changing times, when genuinely hatke fares are being attempted and accepted, director Raj Kaushal has let go of an opportunity to make one such film. Frankly, he is letdown by the writer and editor of the film. However, Raj has drawn fine performances from the principal cast.
As far as the writing is concerned, the film does not hold your attention in the first half. Screenplay writer Shashank Dabral does make an attempt to infuse life in the post-interval portions and the Sanjay Suri - Mandira Bedi track keeps your interest alive. However, a lackluster climax spoils the show and erases the memory of some fine moments that the film offered before the concluding reels.
If the writing leaves a lot to be desired, the editing is worse. Either the editor [Sanjib Datta] must've been snoozing while editing the film [the film needs to be trimmed mercilessly!] or he was simply unconcerned. The film tends to get so talk-heavy at times and also the pace of the narrative is so lethargic that the viewer loses all interest in the goings-on.
Vishal-Shekhar's music is the only saving grace. 'Chal Hatt' is the best song of the enterprise, but unfortunately its placement is improper. The film actually begins with this track and those who miss the start will feel the pinch of missing out on a hot number. Its picturization is first-rate - the animation is akin to icing on the cake.
The remix version of 'Musumu Suhasi' is easy on the ears, while 'Bach Ke Rehna' is another raunchy track.
Cinematography [Amit Roy] is inconsistent. Despite the fact that the film has been shot at a panoramic locale [London], the outcome is not picture postcard quality.
The performances try to save the show, but the finest of performances can never undo the harm inflicted by a lackadaisical and slipshod screenplay. Amongst performers, Sanjay Suri stands out with a near-perfect performance. He plays the henpecked husband with admirable ease and it is thanks to his portrayal that the film sparkles intermittently.
Aashish Chowdhry is adequate, but is sidelined when sharing the frame with Suri. Mandira Bedi exudes the oh-so-cool attitude with dexterity. She shows signs of a tremendous performer during the finale. Samita Bangargi is cute, but doesn't get ample scope to perform.
Divya Dutta is fantastic. Though she tends to go overboard in a scene or two, the actress does manage to hold your attention at most times. Sameer Malhotra is wooden. Negar Khan exudes sex appeal and looks the part she is portraying.
On the whole, SHAADI KA LADDOO is a weak fare. At the box-office, the film holds scant appeal.