A title like SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI makes you curious and interested in the movie instantly. What augments your inquisitiveness is the fact that this one's not a love story concerning teeny boppers. It doesn't star any hero with a six-pack, neither is the leading lady a seductress. Again, the lead man is not the archetypal tall, dark and handsome. Nor is his heroine straight out of a beauty pageant. This one's a love story involving middle-aged couple. And that's one of the prime factors that sets SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI apart -- the avant-garde casting and the dew fresh plotline.
In my opinion, one of the most celebrated films on Parsis is KHATTA MEETHA , helmed by the accomplished storyteller Basu Chatterjee. First-time director Bela Bhansali Sehgal attempts to portray the Parsi community in the most appropriate way as well -- just the way they are in existent life.
SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI is the second film involving Parsi characters this year, after FERRARI KI SAWAARI. What makes SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI interesting, besides its casting, is the fact that it portrays a reality in the garb of entertainment: Getting a compatible companion in life can be real tough, at times. Having said that I'd like to add that although the backdrop is the Parsi community, the topic it tackles is very universal. All this, of course, is narrated with loads of humor.
Farhad, a 45-year-old Parsi bachelor working as a salesman in a lingerie shop, has never found love. The only women in his life are his dominating mother and doting grandmother. The world has given up on him, but Farhad has never given up hope. Until one day Shirin walks into his shop. Shirin, a 40-year-old bubbly, straight-forward Parsi trust secretary is Farhad's soul mate, but destiny intervenesâ€¦
SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI brings back misty memories of KHATTA MEETHA, though, I wish to add, the two stories are not remotely similar. However, what's common is the lovability and charm the two films exude. Women directors like Farah Khan and Zoya Akhtar in particular have left an indelible impression through their movies, entertaining millions of viewers through their cinema. Now first-time director Bela Bhansali Sehgal explores a rather difficult theme for her first film. A 40 + couple, who have just discovered love, can act awkward at times and this discomfort comes across well as the reels unfold. Besides, Bela doesn't feature Parsis in the stereotypical manner. Nor are Boman and Farah misrepresenting or spoofing the Parsis here. Also, the way Bela concludes the story -- the climax -- is thoroughly interesting. In short, SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI doesn't come across as a film on heartbreaks, heartaches or rona-dhona. This one's a feel-good entertainer. You wear a smile on your face as you exit the auditorium.
The sole shortcoming of the film is that it tends to get a little melodramatic and overemphasized intermittently, but, thankfully, the cute scenes between the central characters camouflages this itsy-bitsy deficiency. The soundtrack of SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI is decent. The dialogues are smart and in sync with the mood of the film.
After portraying a wide variety of roles in films like MUNNABHAI series, VEER ZAARA, 3 IDIOTS, KHOSLA KA GHOSLA, WELL DONE ABBA, EKLAVYA, DON series and the recent FERRARI KI SAWAARI, Boman Irani portrays yet another part that makes him stand out in the crowd -- he plays a lover boy, a part he hasn't portrayed earlier. It's a sheer delight watching him get this part absolutely right. Brownie points to this supremely talented actor for yet another flawless performance!
The script needed someone as lively and boisterous as Farah Khan and if one were to use a cliche, she suits the role to the T. Though this is Farah's first attempt at acting, she depicts the character with fervor. In fact, I doubt, any other actor would've pulled off this role with such deftness and flair. She nails the character and how!
Daisy Irani is a delight, while Shammi Aunty is a sweetheart and also the scene stealer. Both, in fact, add tremendous sparkle to the proceedings. Kavin Dave is perfect and so is the supporting cast.
On the whole, SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI is a simple, unfussy and heartfelt movie that hits the right notes. The film supports the fact that no one is too old to fall in love. Truly, this wonderful love story has no expiry date. Recommended!