Having huge expectations for a film can be a bitch, for lack of a better word. And from the Director who made the critically acclaim Queen, the film that swept all the awards last year, well I feel bad for Director Vikas Bahl, because with Shaandaar the expectations were gigantic. Sadly the film is nothing one excepts, especially after watching the trailer (excepted a rom com with a back drop of a destination wedding), its almost as though the filmmakers wanted to trick the audience into watching the film. I don't know. But what Shaandaar ends up being is a spoof on Indian weddings especially those where a lot of money is spent, the film also steps into the fantasy genre, and tries to incorporate a lot of VFX, which is nice, but the film at times its completely totally out of sync and weird, like the mushrooms, and brownie scene. Luckily the film is a laugh riot at many junctures,but with so much going on the film has no coherent story. But more on that later.
Story wise the film starts off in animation and through this we are explained that Bipin had adopted a girl named Alia who turns out to be a insomniac and very unique smart girl. Bipin's family despises Alia (except Bipin's other daughter), this is because Bipin's mom and wife look at everything as a business too profit money from. In present time Bipin's older daughter Isha is getting married to the Fundwains brother, who are completely show offs and only wear gold(they are Sindhi's). The marriage is a business deal for Bipin's mother so the family business can come out of bankruptcy through the Fundwani's wealth. The rest of the story is about how the marriage happens, and how wedding planner named Jaginder Joginder enters Alia's and Bipin's life.
Acting wise Shahid Kapoor does a good job, in a familiar role, and dances like a dream. Alia Bhatt gets a very quirky character, and she takes advantage with a spectacular act. Pankaj Kapoor steals the show with a absolutely fantastic act. His and Alia's scenes are heart warming. Sanjay Kapoor's act is completely absurd, but funny. The rest of ensemble is good and well casted.
Shaandar is a film which is very confused in its story therefore the film suffers, and gets tedious. Seems like Dir Vikas Bahl was confused and didn't know if he wanted to make a Indian wedding spoof movie, a love story, or a film about a father daughter relationship.He tried to tackle too much in one film, and ending up failing in giving a proper story.Also the film had many absurd,bizarre scenes like the mushroom scene, it was funny, but the concept came out of nowhere. But I liked the uniqueness in ideas a film like Shaandar had.What can be applauded in the film is the way the character where written,especially Alia's character, and her relationship with her dad. The Fundwani's, the character of the grandma where all unique and funny. Therefore as a comedy Shaandar works, and its a laugh riot at times,especially in the completely whack, but funny climax( the kid lighting the grandma on fire). The animation, the films VFX, and the way the film was presented on a huge lavish scale is also delightful to see. And the film had great music, especially the Gulbaoo track.
Overall all those excepting another Queen from Shaandaar will be left disappointed, but for those who go with there expectations in check can enjoy this Phantom produced quirky comedy. But be warned the film is made for a more niche, teenage audience, not everyone will enjoy the comedy also.