MOVIE REVIEW: Meri Pyaari Bindu
Read what reviewer Veathika Jain has to say about the Ayushmann Khurrana-Parineeti Chopra starrer
Starring: Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana
Director: Akshay Roy
Worth watching?: Only if you are fans of Ayushmann or Parineeti
Have you been waiting to see Parineeti Chopra in action after a long time? Do you love her heavily-promoted singing abilities? Are you a huge fan of Ayushmann Khurrana? Love his chill vibe and music? I am asking you all these questions as I am about to burst your bubble…
If the answers to the above questions is a YES, Meri Pyaari Bindu is unfortunately not what you have been waiting for. It’s a love story but the love, frankly, eluded me. The film is all about childhood friendship and one-sided love; it has several references of recent movies as well as old Hindi songs yet it doesn’t really touch your heart. But let’s not get too cynical! After all, we go to the movies to escape reality, don’t we? So here’s, the good, the bad and the ugly of Meri Pyaari Bindu…
It’s director Akshay Roy’s first film and being a 90’s kid, his scenes bring back a lot of childhood memories. Audio cassettes, friendships, nosy neighbours, cheating in exams, the struggles of moving to Bombay, staying with room-mates who become friends, forming romantic relationships and having that one good friend who stays for life – these nuances seem real and relatable.
Roy has also depicted Kolkata (his roots) beautifully – be it the houses, rain, football craze or enlightened parents.
The movie starts really well, with a commentary of a regular scene in a colony and a huge Ma Durga idol flying in the air. Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a writer who shows off his vocabulary through the narration of the scene. Abhimanyu is a bit of a modern-day Devdas with a hipster like beard and moustache, currently facing a writer’s bloc.
He is a published Hindi author with books like Chudail Ki Choli among others. (The idea is to remind you of those B-grade movies that used to run in cinemas back in the day. His books and their descriptions also reminded me of thriller writer James Headley Chase, once again a childhood favourite). Abhimanyu is in love with Bindu, his dear friend but Bindu has other plans and constantly yo-yos between being friend, girlfriend and wannabe singer. Ayushmann has performed really well – his character transitions from being a student to a love-stricken friend to a go-to friend to an enlightened boyfriend who wants his ladylove to succeed, and he has portrayed every emotion well.
Parineeti, unfortunately, has been stereotyped as this bubbly, wild, strange yet lovable girl with her roles thus far. Her Bindu is the same - bubbly, crazy, bindaas, lovable girl, who keeps on trying different things. Parineeti has acted well but I want to see a different shade to her now, in a more mature or different role. That said, the girl can sing well and she definitely knows how to emote! The director has shown friendship really well and that is the film’s biggest strength. We all have that friend who is always there, no matter what, don’t we?
Bindu’s character is a strange mish-mash of Kangana’s character in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ while the old Hindi songs craze reminded me of Anushka and Ranbir in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
The current fad in Bollywood is to remake old Hindi songs, old movies, but for a first-timer, I expected something fresh from Akshay Roy. The Bengali parents are cute, but again, as ‘Bengali’ as it could get. We have seen better movies like Vicky Donor before! The movie is stretched and could have used a good pair of scissors in some parts. Overall, the storyline doesn’t seemed defined and looks like it has been stitched together from a few scripts. You can play ‘spot the reference’ throughout!
What I didn’t get was why a writer in today’s day and age would use a typewriter or not make copies of his manuscript! There are references to the same within the movie but if that is shown to depict the quirk of the character, sadly, it doesn’t work. Do Hindi writers always have to wear Kurta Pajama? Ayushmann plays an author who ditches research analyst job for a pen and his character transition is shown through a kurta pajama. Come on, he has just changed professions, not joined JNU!
Similarly, why do Indian mums need to be in a sari? A vivacious girl who wears what she pleases, cheers for her college football team in shorts in Kolkata, wears a nearly backless top when out partying, suddenly transforms into a traditional sari-wearing, gold jhumka sporting woman the minute she becomes a mum. Why-oh-why do we still have these stereotypes!?
The film definitely makes you feel for Ayushmann and understand Bindu’s predicaments to an extent but the storytelling and humour could have had far more punch. I would say Meri Pyaari Bindu is more about friendship than love so don’t expect a love story here.
Watch it only if you are a fan of the stars...