Pawan & Pooja movie review: Modern-day relationships!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published Feb 25, 2020, 12:32 am IST
Updated Feb 25, 2020, 12:32 am IST
This series is a roller coster ride of emotions. Suits best for a fun binge watching session!
A scene from Pawan & Pooja
 A scene from Pawan & Pooja
Rating:

Director: Shaad Ali and Ajay Bhuyan

Starring: Mahesh Manjrekar, Deepti Naval, Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag, Taaruk Raina, Natasha Bhardwaj Created & Conceptualised by Siddharth P. Malhotra, Shaad Ali

 

When two creative minds like Siddharth Malhotra and Shaad Ali set their hearts on exploring the dynamics of the man-woman relationship through the prism of contemporary  perceptions, there is bound to be something interesting brewing in the  backyard.

Sure enough Pawan & Pooja, throws forward quite  a bit of warmth and sunshine even as its take on gender  relations tends to lean too  heavily on coincidences and obvious props. Also, some of  the  situations whipped up in the  ebullient  series is not entirely convincing. However, given the flights of fancy allowed to the tradition rom-rom, this extended version of  the genre is  not  without its merits.

Mahesh Manjrekar and Deepti Naval as a 60-plus couple are my favourite Pawan and Pooja. The two co-actors play out well against one  another inducing just the right  amounts of nostalgia and warmth into their relationship. The only time I  stared at them in disbelief is when Deepti’s Pooja ticks off ‘pick-pocketing’ on her bucket list because way back in 1974 she fell in love with a film called Haath Ki Safai. What follows is a bit of a stretch, but nonetheless cute. And the actor who plays the professional pickpocket  guiding Deepti through her fantasy deserves an award.

Sharman Joshi and Gul Panag, both fine actors, made me cringe for all the right reasons. You see, their marriage has run out of spark because…well, he can’t get it up anymore and she just can’t stop taunting him about his drooping destiny in a voice loud enough for their son,  house help and neighbours  to hear.

“I have asked her to cook the small banana. Since that seems to be your favourite vegetable these days,” Gul  adlibs poker-faced. There is  a  ‘p***s’ joke in a lift which errr…does little to lift Sharman’s limp fortunes.

The Sharman-Gul story  plays out as a mildly engaging sex comedy. Curiously the  story of the  youngest couple, played with considerable  cockiness and charm by Taaruk Raina and Natasha Bhardwaj, set in the self-seeking predatory world of the social media and its constant hunger for sensationalism, plays out with an undertone of sadness, thanks to  the  two actors, specially Raina who  captures the attention-getting anxieties of a smalltowner with conviction.

All three couples have  sufficient meat in the plot to chew  on, and they make the best of  it. The series maintains an  emotional equilibrium , never going overboard in its quest  of eyeballs. Three three pairs of actors take care of the rest.

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