Cast: Virr Das, Kavi Shastri, Vega Tamotia, Anindita Nayyar
Director: Ajay Bhuyan
Amit Sahni Ki List is one of those very few films in Bollywood that seem to know a thing or two about romantic comedies. The film has an American sitcom like feel, the dialogues are crisp, the pace is decent, some jokes may remind you of WhatsApp forwards but the humour is mostly situational and above all, the performances are spot on. Even though the story is slightly predictable, the fresh take on the subject keeps things from leaving a stale aftertaste.
The film tells the story about a man named Amit Sahni (Virr Das), who believes he can find his soul mate only and only if she fulfils all points in a handwritten list he had put together in his college days, after being dumped by the love of his life, his first girlfriend. Amit went on to do well in life, professionally. He’s now an investment banker who lives in a condo and drives a BMW — a living, breathing example of Jane Austen’s famous opening lines in Pride and Prejudice. On the surface Amit’s handwritten list does appear to be an example of his OCD, but it is also an insightful take on how each one of us, at some point in time, have made these imaginary lists to create a prototype in our heads of the perfect someone.
However, can a list really be the road map that can lead you to your soul mate? The film answers this question but not in black and white. The grey areas in the storyline manage to keep things real and the characters relatable. Yet, things never get too serious. There is gentle satire, a steady supply of chuckles and a few guffaws to keep the mood bright and sunny, but never saccharine.
Virr Das (with an extra ‘r’) is perfect as the flawed hero, who endears himself with his perennially confused state of mind. His performance is controlled, his humour never slapstick and he manages to show just why he can play the next-door romantic guy. That extra 'r' is certainly working, Virr. He is ably supported by Vega Tamotia who is a revelation as the free-spirited girl who knows her mind as clearly as her heart. Anindita Nayar is apt as a corporate over-achiever for whom life is a series of slides on a power point presentation. But in the supporting cast, no one shines brighter than the talented Kavi Shashtri, who plays Push, Virr’s “third rate friend from third standard”. Riding on some very well written lines and a God’s gift of comic timing, Kavi is a dishy delight.
Amit’s parents’ characters are also well-etched out despite their limited screen time. Watch out for the scenes that feature Amit’s mother who is always on the phone talking to her son. She’s so into the feel young concept that she uses ‘btw’ and ‘imho’ (in my humble opinion) in her daily parlance, even as she ends her verbal conversations with ‘bye, smiley face, xoxo’.
Director Ajay Bhuyan’s confidence oozes out of the film and it’s hard to believe he’s a first timer. He has a rock-solid control over his characters, the script and the screenplay. Even the cheesy moments have saucy undertones and that’s not something many filmmakers can adequately express on screen.
Give this one a watch. That’s the least you can do. Or should I say that’s the list you can do.
Watch the trailer of the film here: