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Shaandaar is a romantic comedy film directed by Vikas Bahl. Vikas has given hits like Chillar Party and Queen in the past. Shaandaar deserved a much shaandaar treatment by Vikas after his super successful film Queen. It is also claimed to be first Destination Wedding film of Bollywood. The film does use the motion picture in a few scenes where prelude to the plot is set and narrated by Naseeruddin Shah. Though the film starts on a high note of humour, but in the later parts of the film, the fun part falls flat, it fizzles down. The best part of the film is its cast - effortless Pankaj Kapur, spontaneous Shahid Kapur, bubbly Alia, cute Sanah. They definitely bring good moments on screen. I must say that, one can’t just write off this movie. One can enjoy this film in parts for the charm that its actors bring on screen.
The film begins with the motion picture along with Naseeruddin Shah’s narration, which sets the prelude to the plot. Bipin (Pankaj Kapur) adopts Alia (Alia Bhatt) and brings her home. Sushma Seth as Bipin’s mother – Kamala Arora, matriarch of the Arora family, rules the house along with Bipin’s wife (Niki Aneja). Both Kamala and Bipin’s wife are shown to be materialistic in nature. Though Alia is not accepted by both of them, she manages to deal with their hatred.
Alia’s sister Eesha (Sanah Kapur, Shahid’s real sister) is getting married to Robin Fundwani (Vikas Verma). It is more of a business deal for Kamala and Harry Fundwani (Sanjay Kapoor), a merger of two major business houses of India. For Robin and Eesha also, it is just a compromise for family’s sake. Robin is Harry’s brother who is flaunting his 8 ½ packs throughout the movie. Harry glitters in gold, is obsessed with gold. He is getting his brother married to Eesha, since Kamala has promised them the gold which equals the weight of Eesha (she is shown as plump girl). Both the families Aroras and Fundwanis travel for destination wedding. A fairy tale castle (probably in Europe) is chosen for this wedding.
Jagjinder Joginder aka JJ (Shahid Kapoor)’s entry happens in a completely filmy manner, his bike colliding with a vintage car driven by Bipin with his wife and daughters. This encounter, where the real father-son duo comes face-to-face on screen is funny. JJ happens to be the wedding organizer for Eesha-Robin’s wedding.
Alia is an insomniac. It is great to see her chemistry with her on-screen father Pankaj Kapur whom she calls Beeps. He designs dreams for her and alia keeps all the dreams safe in a box saying that she would watch every dream when she would start sleeping. Coincidently JJ is also an insomniac. As can be predicted, in the background of wedding preparations, another love story blossoms between JJ and Alia in a very cool fashion. It is great to see father becoming possessive of his daughter when he realizes that there is another man in her life.
There are certain low points in the movie. Rather entry of Sanjay Kapur as Harry Fundwani unfortunately is a low point, since it breaks the flow of humour tone set up till then. Drag is felt post-interval. Towards the end, the film just nosedives into silly comedy, a beautiful plot is made into a series of silly sub-plots. A scene just prior to climax where a girl speaks up for her right to live, could have been a show-stopper scene, but the way it is handled on screen has trivialized the message.
Certain characters are just added in the film viz. twin sisters, mirroring everything; a small kid with bow and arrow ready to hit the target etc. Anjana Sukhani is just a filler, does not get a single dialogue in the film. Lot of characters viz. Bipin’s brothers except the designer brother gets lost in the crowd.
Harry’s way of identifying with every successful individual as Sindhis (even with Michael Jackson) does not generate much humour. Karan Johar does make a special appearance with ‘Mehandi with Karan’. I am wondering whether these scenes were required at all? Music is average.
The best part of the film is definitely the moments between Alia-Shahid, Alia-Pankaj, Alia-Eesha. And the way, they have handled and ustified their respective characters, is surely going to bring smiles to your face.
How does the story move further? What happens to the destination wedding of Eesha-Robin? How does Alia-JJ’s relationship shape up? What happens when Alia comes to know regarding her biological parents? How does she respond? How does Bipin deal with his daughter Alia’s getting comfortable with JJ? What happens to Kamala’s business deal approach? Who actually benefit in the end?
Shaandaar definitely deserved a much shaandaar treatment by ‘Queen’ director Vikas Bahl. Shaandaar has its own moments of humour to entertain you, though the fun element nosedives into silly comical scenes later. Watch it, if you just want some very light-hearted stuff.
Rating: 2.75/5 (Almost Good)