Movie Review 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2': A macho pity party

'PKP2' gives us an entertaining and engaging two hours

Director: Luv Ranjan

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh Nijjar, Omkar Kapoor, Nushrat Bharucha, Ishita Sharma, Sonalli Sehgall

Rating: 3 stars

In a parody to the excruciating ‘no smoking’ commercials, our three hen-pecked hunks, after getting repeatedly hit in their figurative nether regions by their respective worse halves (as is always the case in their world) gesticulate how itna pyaar (or tar) aapko bimar, bohot bimar banaa sakta hai. The words “love kills” splash on screen as the film breathes into an interval. Director Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, a sequel to the previous sleeper hit of 2011, continues campaigning for the cause of mistreated, used and abused men. The cast is only partly fresh with two new entries; Siddharth (Sunny Singh Nijar) and Tarun (Omkar Kapoor). Their homes have gotten bigger, the cars swankier and their hearts still beat for sexy seductresses. Their brains…let’s not get there.

Anshul (Kartik Aaryan), Siddharth and Tarun share what looks like a penthouse in Delhi, where an indoor swimming pool is the only thing that’s missing. Tarun, who takes home 3 lakhs every month (whew!), pays the rent and pretty much everything else. The brothers from different mothers have their own hisaab or the lack of it, but this is not something Tarun’s girlfriend Kusum (Ishita Sharma) can make peace with. Anshul’s girl Ruchika (Nushrat Bharucha) treats him like a prop to show off to her even more devilish girlfriends (a pair of horns would have made these characters fully rounded). Siddharth’s beloved Supriya (Sonalli Sehgall) strings him along until he almost becomes a man Friday to her parents, repairing printers, buying saris, you get the drift. While Anshul and Ruchika’s relationship crosses all limits of caricature, Siddharth’s life provides many laughs, thanks to a superb rendition of the hapless “almost sardar” victim by the very young actor Sunny Singh Nijar. His interactions with Supriya’s grumpy father played by Sharat Saxena (who never makes it go out of fashion) make for some good moments in the film. Urban young couples can relate to Tarun and Ishita’s money issues until of course the girl turns into a cash swallowing shark. Since the PKP franchise’s brand equity is rooted in its villains, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

It’s not easy for a partisan narrative to endear itself to both sides but PKP2 wins that battle to an extent, riding on impressive performances by its very young cast, a tight screenplay and some solid writing by Rahul Modi, Tarun Jain and Luv Ranjan himself. There is never a shadow of doubt who the villains are but the games they play are not over-the-top, like they were in the first film. The situations depicted are mostly rooted in real urban lives, it’s a more nuanced take on relationships, the white lies partners practice on each other, the deviousness they are capable of. A somewhat caricatured exterior, especially in the characterization of the three girls, manages to keep the tone light, but the story touches upon urban relationship concerns like money, platonic friendships with the opposite sex and shortchanging friendships for relationships and vice versa. But again, because this is two hours of Luv Ranjan’s world, the blows are only dealt by the (un)fair sex.

Understandably, the male characters are well fleshed out with no one-upmanship happening. With a very Dilli banter that’s as free flowing as their booze, the bromance is as real as it gets. It also helps that all three of them are good actors who have just the right hold on their roles. It’s easy to get carried away playing the victim, but they keep the sissyness in check for the most part. Kartik Aryan’s ranty monologue doesn’t have the same zing and seems longer than it really is --- the director is clearly playing to the gallery to get those macho whistles. Fair enough. Ishita Sharma and Sonalli Sehgall do their bit playing manipulative girlfriends. Nushrat’s character is most unreal in its fakeness and the actress’s screechy demeanour doesn’t help much --- she seems to speak in C-sharp only.

Without getting into the obvious and tempting misogynist debate, seen just as a film, and not a statement, PKP2 gives us an entertaining and engaging two hours. Heartbroken men or men in general can indulge in some self-pity in this funny whine festival, while us villainous women sit back and belt out a few evil laughs, what else. Let’s reserve our cries of protest for more worthwhile occasions.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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