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Movie review 'Shaandaar': Not so much

Published Oct 23, 2015, 1:41 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 9:35 am IST
Bearing no spark of Vikas Bahl’s cinematic brilliance otherwise, the film’s story is contrived and the characters, too caricaturish

Director: Vikas Bahl

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapoor, Sanah Kapoor


Rating: 2 Stars

Third time’s the harm — that could be an expression for Vikas Bahl. After delivering delightful films such as Chillar Party and Queen, we were understandably excited about his third endeavor Shaandaar, which was anything but. It bears no resemblance to the fine stories that he has narrated in the past with a strong story line — quite contrarily, it is a patchwork of sorts by a scatterbrain.

It starts off on a dreamy note with animated characters leading you into the story. It quickly turns into an obnoxious one with gold-bathed Sindhis letting off gunshots in the air before it turns slapstick with an entourage of hash-induced baratis speaking into their shoes. We wouldn’t blame one for assuming that a few scenes were outsourced from Sajid Khan. 


The story is that of Isha Arora (Sanah Kapoor), Pankaj Kapoor’s daughter (incidentally in real life as well) and the fanfare around her big, fat, destination wedding with the protein shake-guzzling and 8 and a half pack-building brother of Harry or ‘The’ Harry (Sanjay Kapoor) as he calls himself. Alia (Alia) plays Isha’s sister, also Kapoor’s adopted daughter and Jagjinder Joginer (Shahid), is the wedding organizer who is smitten by her at first sight. The two families are engaged in a game of one up-manship even as they are on the verge of bankruptcy — a problem that will be put to rest by the impending nuptials — hopefully. It is a legacy carried on by the families who put business interests before romantic ones.  What follows is an effort to keep the wedding from being called off in view of a self-consumed groom who leaves no chance to ridicule his plump bride. Alia and Jagjinder Joginer parallely have a blossoming love story. Prima facie they don’t have much in common except insomnia — in their case, one that lasts for years. Unromantic much? But wait! As if straight out of a fable, the two are destined to fall asleep only when they fall in love. “Lagta hai neend aanewali hai beegee,” Shahid tells his grandmother. 


The glaring spotlight on Alia and the painfully extra flattering shots of Alia make it clear that it is a Dharma Production, but just in case you had a doubt, Karan Johar walks in for a ‘Mehendi with Karan’, a self-offered tribute by KJo’s to his television show Koffee with Karan. It is as misplaced as the rest of the elements in the film and induces a chuckle at best.

While everyone in the film has delivered a good performance, the characters are not sketched out very well. Shahid for example, had never heard of the word ‘insomniac’ despite being one and struggles much to finally utter ‘insomagaliac’ or some such, but rattles off a smooth string of English words in front of a police officer. The matriarch (Sushma Seth) who rules with an iron fist shows traces of ‘Miss Braganza’ from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, when she lays eyes on Jagjinder Joginder, and suddenly has a cool breeze wash over her face.


Songs in the film come at very inappropriate times too. And while the makers intended to show a big fat Indian wedding, the fact that the screen at any point hosts not more than 50 characters removes the fizz out of the grandeur. 

What do work for the film however, are the few funny exchanges between Pankaj Kapoor and Shahid. Isha’s rion-pumping fiancé gives a glimpse of Anshuman from Jab We Met, an air-headed, defeatist groom. Vikas Verma does a good job of it. Sanah does a good job as a debutante.

The film is largely unreal, exaggerated and a not-so-Shaandaar continuation of Bahl’s work.