A couple of hours after Meri Pyaari Bindu, nothing of the film remains on the mind. Not that one feels any more connected as it was unspooling on-screen. The love story of Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Bindu Shakarnarayanan (Parineeti Chopra) is one of the least appealing and absorbing to have come out of Bollywood lately.
For any love story to click, there has to be some engagement with the lovers. Here, one couldn’t be bothered about them. Parineeti Chopra returns to screen, fitter and trimmer and raring to go, but her Bindu remains a potentially interesting character—what with her childhood issues, ambition, fickleness—that doesn’t graduate into becoming a fully realised one. Perhaps because we see only that much of her as Abhimanyu will allow us and it comes with his personal biases. Khurrana is his usual likeable self but his Abhimanyu is exasperating in not moving on. He is the writer of pulp fiction facing a writer’s block. Penning a romance takes him back to his one and only true love. Narrated through intercuts of the present and the past the film gets confusing with its never ending leaps of time. And the lazy, long, explanatory voiceover only makes matters more somnolent.
Forget the lead, the characters on the side—be it the parents or the friends—are equally irritating. Music cassettes were used wonderfully in evoking 90s nostalgia in Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Here it remains another 4 inch by 2.5 inch element in the background even though it is purportedly the soundtrack of the lovers’ life. There is another retro prop—the typewriter with those golden keys—and then there is Kolkata, a city caught in a time warp. None of which seem organic, but planted and too obviously constructed. And none of the elements can camouflage the sheer banality of the story. It’s this deliberate touch that prevents the whimsy from flying. A lot more charm was needed here but dullness, unfortunately, is all we get.
2015 Kashmir Despatch