During a week when a hysterically hyped star-son patronized by the biggest star of the country is being launched, it is easy to overlook this small sweet slender and tender love story featuring two faces that you may not give a second glance in the crowds because they have that rare quality of merging into the mob.
Meet Jay and Vedika. They meet at a bus stop in Goa and decide to spend an hour together, and…
That’s it! The plot of debutant director Prakash Nambiar’s delicate rom-com dodges complications and unnecessary characters to focus on the here-and-now of the relationship that grows out of the chance encounter. Interestingly the film is shot in real time. The hour that the couple spends together is handed down to us verbatim. This gives the proceedings a real raciness, a motivational push beyond what other boy-meets-girl films have to offer.
Semi-newcomers Teeshay and Tara-Alisha (we can’t call them debutants since they are familiar figures) make their parts look comfortably lived-in. There is no effort here to appear ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’.
And there are interesting little cameos strewn across the story like confetti at a New Year’s party, like veteran actress Asha Sharma (remember her in Buniyaad) showing up in a lift asking our hero why he’s not married at 35.
In another smile-inducing moment Jay’s mom offers him ‘protection’ before meeting a marriageable girl. A religious taveez, and not what you or Jay think.
The director shows glimmers of chuckle-inducing humour. At the start we see an ad film parodying the notorious anti-smoking short-film about the young man on his death bed dying of cancer. Only, the director has replaced cancer with love as the dreaded disease.
Elsewhere in an effort to go casually retro we see Vedika take out a flip-phone from her bag, an acquisition in those days that visibly impresses the middleclass Jay.
But the feeling of comforting warmth begins to wane in the section that deals with Jay, ten years later, now 35 still single, still living with his parents, exchanging barb with his baap at the diningtable…and gosh, that ridiculous hair…now where did that come from?
In fact Jay jokes about it being a wig.
And we kind of believe him. No one’s hair could look that artificial unless it is artificial. Hair apart, there is so much that is real in The Perfect Girl that you sincerely want to like the effort to tell an uncluttered unambitious story of a boy and girl whose lives change in 60 minutes without their realizing it.
By the time the hasty reunion happens (that’s not spoiler, it’s a pre-given in this kind of a love story) we are past caring about the shortcuts taken by the plot to get the lovers together. The Perfect Girl…is ek cute si pyaari si real si love story..there is just the couple played by Tara-Alisha Berry and Teeshay and the life-changing hour they spend together are not stuff that enduring movie memories are made of. The lead pair makes the relationship look real and relatable. Director Prakash Nambiar lets the lead pair create its own chemistry, and the hands-off approach works.
At least, this time.