Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hasa To Phasa



First up, this is not a movie review. Well, not exactly. This piece is more about a role reversal we are witnessing in Bollywood movies. I saw ‘Hasee to Phasee’, starring Parineeti Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra, directed by Vinil Mathews. Here is the set up. Boy meets girl. Boy ends up marrying the girl’s nerdy sister. Yep, that’s it. According to a newspaper the movie is about science meeting sanskaar. That too.

Let’s first silence the critique in me to savor the best later. The title 'Hasee to Phasee' should in fact be 'Hasa to Phasa'. Stay with me and I will tell you why towards the end. The movie has several moments of displaced logic. Like why does Parineeti steal and lick toothpaste? If she can buy air tickets to China, she can surely buy tooth paste to silence her hunger pangs. Moreover, do depressed people steal clips, chocolates etc? I know logic is not Karan Johar’s forte, but I was counting on Anurag Kashyap who has co-produced the movie.

Since the movie is being touted as a rom-com, funny moments abound. As it happens, some gags click (Inspector Pradyuman and Daya act) but some fall flat (Anu Malick parody). It may be an age thing, but I am unable to digest all this running away from the marriage before the D-day. I doubt if today’s youngsters are so fickle. Plus the moth- eaten climax of running away in bridal attire has been done to death. This time around, it is not the bride but the groom who runs away.

Let’s talk about the positives.

The throbbing heart of the movie lies in a pleasant role reversal. First, Parineeti is not your quintessential heroine. She does all the guy things like hacking a computer, charging a car battery and brandishing no-nonsense advice. Parineeti is sassy but not a simpering siren. She doesn’t even turn into one towards the end like Deepika in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. Unlike a conservative Deepika who was safe in her cocoon, Parineeti is a live-wire living on the edge. Even when the credits begin to roll, Parineeti is off to solve some legal hassles on foreign shores.

Parineeti is, we are told, a Chemical Engineer from Delhi IIT. So technically, the heroine has more grey cells than the hero who is a struggling event manager with weird business ideas. Second, in the mainstream images, you seldom see a hero, who tugs your heart strings. Sidharth is a caring emotional guy who tries to please everyone in the movie. It is endearing when he manages to bring Parineeti’s father out in the balcony so that she can catch a glimpse of her estranged father. When Parineeti asks him to break away from her own sister, he says, "It is not easy for me to break up. I am an emotional guy." Essentially,Sidharth Malhotra is here to stay – with or without his shirt. 


Significantly, it is the heroine who unabashedly  proposes and looks at Sidharth with puppy eyes. In one scene Sidharth is visibly uncomfortable with all the staring and asks her to look away. Clearly, ‘Hasa to Phasa’ and not ‘Hasee to Phasee’. Regardless, it is a simple sweet movie which displays refreshing role reversal.

I am not judging whether this role reversal is good or bad. You decide. All I am saying is that young directors are attacking stereotypes. What is heartening is that Bollywood is presenting deviations in such a palatable way that you gulp them without realizing what you ate. This candy floss is not pure sugar. It has nuts. And for this reason alone this movie should be applauded.
Picture:www.ibn.live.in
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42 comments:

  1. Ok..may be you just killed all the excitement I was forcefully building up to go watch this movie!

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    1. Arre, but when did I say the movie was boring? Go watch it for Siddhartha Malhotra. He is sizzling hot.

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  2. I did hear good things about the movie on Twitter. But isn't Parineeti Chopra playing the sassy Punjaban for the nth time?

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    1. This time she is a nerdy Punjaban.

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    2. Okay...she's a nerdy Gujrati in the movie, in the first place...who is equally comfortable crooning the Punjabi lyrics ;)

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    3. Yes Kajal she is a Gujratan, who speaks Chinese but acts like a Punjaban.LOL.

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  3. Hmmm. Now more than ever, I shall refuse to let my kids bully me into watching the movie. While role reversals are very welcome, the rest of the rom- com deal doesn't really do it for me. I can watch it on telly where I have to option of walking away when I like feel like it.

    Dagny

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    1. I seldom watch movies. Since TOI gave four stars, I was tricked. Young girls are loving the movie, I heard. It's Sid's charm.

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  4. Alka, that's a nice take on the movie. I loved it regardless of the complete absurdity in some areas. Yes, I liked the stereotypes being attached and I liked Siddharth with or without his shirt. He has a good future here....

    Now tell me there were some scenes that made one laugh and cry with equal ease, because I did just that while watching it! Loved the movie. Loved you not-so-much-a-review! :)

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    1. Since you are an expert, I value your comment Kajal. Thank you.

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    2. I ain't no expert, Alka.(am just happy you think that way :P ) I just watch movies from the heart...analyze them purely by how I felt about them. I don't go by the rules of what is and what could have been, and what was missing. And I agree the movie has flaws, but in spite of that, its lovable :)

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  5. This one will be watched on Tata Sky! hmmmpf

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  6. Great non-review that felt like a review. Looks like you quite liked the film despite its flaws. But since it's not oddball enough on my Weird-o-Meter (the only movies I have liked in the recent past are Ghanchakkar, Go Goa Gone and Aiyya, for example), I think I will have to give this one a pass.
    I do love the Zehnaseeb song, though. Utterly lovely it is. Both to hear and to watch on YouTube.

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    1. One of the labels on this post is Vinyl Mathews! Is that really someone's name?

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    2. The other songs are pleasing too. Essentially it is candy floss. I tried to find some hidden nuts.
      Vinil Mathew is the debutant director.

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  7. Ha! I looked into this post out of curiosity since whenever you write about movies there is something else to it...a great observation and I am glad it is happening and who but Bollywood to make an audience drink it up happily. This line-->"All I am saying is that young directors are attacking stereotypes. What is heartening is that Bollywood is presenting deviations in such a palatable way that you gulp them without realizing what you ate."--YES!

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    1. It is a pleasure to see you here Bhavana. Thank you for the share. Yes, this candy floss has a few hidden nuts.

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  8. I think role reversal is good and I am liking Siddarth on the basis of whatever I have seen in promos. But Parineeti seems a bit over the top. May be I will watch it for Siddarth ;)

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    1. You got it right. Watch it for him. He's promising.

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  9. And now going to see it on Wednesday, after this :D And will come back and comment, pucca.

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    1. Yes, only those who have seen the movie can get what I am saying here. Waiting.

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  10. I liked the movie...a different way of presentation.

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    1. I ventured with high expectations hence the trifle disappointment Janaki. Glad you enjoyed.

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  11. I was hoping to see it some day,going by the review in TOI,but now i am having second thoughts.As it is,i am not a movie buff.

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    1. Neither am I Indu. I went ahead after TOI gave four stars.

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  12. Hmm - Seems like there is some change in movie-,making albeit the attention to logic seems as 'great' as ever.

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    1. I have never heard you talk about movies Suresh. Do you watch movies? I seldom visit the cinema halls, maybe thrice a year.

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  13. Not that I didn't read the review, and that one of my roomie (who recently found a girlfriend, or rather, the girlfriend found him) is a living example of this role reversal. He once enlightened us with his theory that a good guy must be timid and shy, while a good girl should be frank and active. That was actually before he found his first match. Now, he totally believes in this theory no matter what others say.

    Ah, but the main point that I wanted to say was, the 'Thank You' under the indiblogger trophy looks beautiful :D

    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. @Anshul - Yeah, it looks really beautiful.

      @Alka - Finally, got the glimpse of your beautifully displayed trophy. :)

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    2. This thank you is for my readers who spend time here. Thank you Anshul, Saru.

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  14. ROFL on this line - 'I know logic is not Karan Johar’s forte, but I was counting on Anurag Kashyap who has co-produced the movie.'

    I agree, it should be renamed or they can plan a sequel with your title. And yes, the CID scene was funny. :)

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    1. So you saw the movie. Look forward to a sequel.

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  15. Good review. Mainstream cinema does seem to be exploring bolder ideas but nothing really original.

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    1. Bold but nothing original. True in many ways.

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  16. Ok, I still think I am going to watch the movie for you-know-who. It is heartening to see Bollywood attempting something different from what they've been doing all these years. Kudos to that. Whether or not that strikes with the audience, that is another thing.

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  17. have not watched the movie but by way of your review I happen to find some merits in it :-D

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  18. I liked the movie and parineeti ids just too good.

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  19. I don't normally watch hindi...but your review makes me want to definitely check this out! Well written!

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  20. Think it's a brilliant time where directors are exploring new subjects and experimenting with role reversal. Even ur serious stuffs are awesome. Cheerz

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  21. True! We are devouring anything that breaks the stereotype in Bollywood. Well written Alka!

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