Verdict: Jabariya Jodi is jabardast for its music and comedy.

It’s not uncommon for Bollywood to present serious issues in a light-hearted manner. This approach to cinema has made masses of the population aware of the problems that plague our nation and have given them a perspective to form their own opinions. Newbie Prashant Singh, whose repertoire boasts of AD work on films like Tanu Weds Manu (2011), Raanjhanaa (2013), and Issaq (2013), now makes his directorial debut with Ekta Kapoor’s co-production titled Jabariya Jodi. The movie highlights an important issue around marriage practices in Bihar and the prevalent system of dowry and dishes it all out in a commercial masala format.

What’s Jabariya Jodi About: 

Groom kidnapping or pakadwa vivah is rampant in the state of Bihar. It involves the abduction of the groom and forced marriage to the bride in the absence of dowry. It usually takes place when the groom’s family demands a heavy dowry from the bride’s parents and the latter are unable to fulfill their demands. Our lead here is Abhay Singh (Sidharth Malhotra), a Patna-based youth who is a hero for many but a loyal servant to his father (Javed Jaffrey) who believes that the practice of groom kidnapping is a social service he provides to many families. On his father’s orders, Abhay abducts potential grooms and forcibly gets them married to their eagerly awaiting brides. His life is fairly steady until his childhood sweetheart Babli Yadav (Parineeti Chopra) is back. Now, Abhay questions his actions until he is in for a jabariya surprise himself.

What Works: 

To present an issue that’s dark and startling in a light-hearted manner requires comedy and Jabariya Jodi ensures peals of laughter. Dialogues by Sanjeev Kumar Jha keep the laughs coming throughout the film. The writer and director may not have the perfect script to work with but they do not compromise on the entertainment factor. Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra give their best as leads; both could use some commercial success. But it is the supporting cast of the film that captures most of your attention, be it Sanjay Mishra as Babli’s father or Aparshakti Khurana in a role he is known and loved for – the hero’s best friend. Javed Jaffrey provides the balance here as a menacing father and is equally entertaining to watch. Jabariya Jodi also keeps up the upbeat flow of the film with its peppy music and foot-tapping dance numbers. The customary remake Khadke Glassy is a full-blown masala track and Tanishk Bagchi’s urban revival of the Ashok Masti and Yo Yo Honey Singh collaboration is likely to play in your head for a long time.

What Could’ve Been Better: 

Jabariya Jodi seems to have miscast the suave Sidharth Malhotra and fussy Parineeti Chopra. Even with their indigenous clothes, loud make-up and nearly-perfect Bhojpuri accents (much of which seems inappropriate in places), they do not pass off a couple of youngsters from a tier-2 city in Bihar.

Why You Should Watch: 

Jabariya Jodi provides a nice break from all the action of Hobbs & Shaw or the horrors of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It’s an out-and-out popcorn entertainer, ideal for movie-time with friends. Its music and comedy is jabardast, even if everything else is jabariya.