Love in the time of recession. This could well be the catchphrase of Bewakoofiyan, YRF’s latest offering, that attempts to answer perhaps the most difficult question known to mankind: Is love more important than money? Now, the thing about difficult questions is that they are best left unanswered. This film, however, takes a stand and therein lies a problem.
Meet Mohit Chadda, (Ayushmann Khurrana) a young, effervescent star performer in his company, who has just been promoted to a senior executive. He’s passionately committed to his girlfriend, Mayera Sehgal (Sonam Kapoor) who in her designer outfits and accessories is very much the “Aisha” we had met years ago, but with a real job, that pays her well, better than her boyfriend’s in fact. This turns out to be the first stumbling block in their love story as Mayera’s father, a retired IAS officer, VK Sehgal, (Rishi Kapoor) won’t have his daughter marry a man who earns less than her. But that seems the least of Mohit and Mayera’s problems, when Mohit’s recession struck company lays him off and he, in the words of Rishi Kapoor, is rendered “bankrupt” overnight. How does he win his lady love in the given circumstances from the clutches of her “terrorist” father or is there any love left to be won at all, forms the crux of Bewakoofiyan.
Several chunks of the film seem like a lazy rip-off of the cult Hollywood comedy Meet The Parents. It won’t be wrong to say Ayushmann shares better chemistry with senior Kapoor than he does with Sonam. Also, if you ask me, the much-talked about bikini scene seemed waste of a good bikini. Ayushmann largely resembles the gentleman we saw in the latter half of Vicky Donor. He plays the role with ease, but fails to bring anything new to the table. Sonam, whose shopping bags are a standard feature in her appearance, fits into the role of a high-maintenance girlfriend, who later supports her lover too. However, despite the repeated lip locks, their chemistry seems struck by recession too. Their fights and conflicts, however, are real. From shamelessly comparing their individual credit card limits to being reduced to choose between rent and rock shows, the contrasts are finely nuanced. But despite that, director Nupur Asthana (of Hip Hip Hurray fame) fails to scratch beneath the surface and hence this recession struck love story remains largely cosmetic.
That’s why thank God we have someone like Rishi Kapoor to keep the mood upbeat even when Habib Faisal’s writing suffers, and leaves too many questions unanswered. Rishi excels as the garrulous, domineering patriarch who strikes a fine balance between being a terror-inducing dad (or Osama as Mohit refers to him) and a man who is trying to come to terms with his own retirement and the life’s choices his daughter has made. The turnaround of his character, however, remains one of the biggest question marks of the film. He is strongly assisted by Gulsharan, who “in my humble opinion” is a delightful addition to the supporting cast.
Nupur’s direction is balanced but she lacks the support of a strong lead pair and razor sharp witty lines, which are rom-com staples. The film has no major flaws but it doesn’t have many great moments either. And the end result is as empty as Mohit’s bank balance.
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor
Direction: Nupur Asthana
Rating: 2 and 1/2 stars