Verdict: Irrfan and Parvathy make this usual fare an unusual one.
Rom-com is perhaps the most predictable genre in cinema. We always know how the movie will begin and how it will end. The basic sketch of all the romantic comedy movies is the same. So it becomes more difficult to make a rom-com that will have people smiling and walking out of the theatre with satisfaction. Qarib Qarib Singlle has almost managed to do so.
WHAT'S QARIB QARIB SINGLLE ABOUT:
Jaya (Parvathy) is a widow who hasn’t moved on after the death of her husband. How will she – when she talks to him at regular intervals and saves his name (Manav) as the password of her phone and laptop? There’s a scene in the intro track when we see her buying two movie tickets just for herself. Seeing how she is drawn towards the illusory presence of her late husband, we are assuming that the other ticket was reserved for him. And yet, she is lonely and not long into the movie, she ends up making a profile on a dating app. After a few filthy messages from a set of morons, she connects with Yogi (Irrfan Khan), finds him reasonable and decides to meet him. A few meetups over coffee helps them to get to know each other (not completely though). Later, they decide to embark on a journey to meet Yogi's three exes in Rishikesh, Bikaner and Gangtok. How that journey changes their lives is what the story is all about.
The director Tanuja Chandra, known for Sangarsh and Dushman, presents her lead characters Jaya and Yogi in a subtle manner. For instance, Jaya is as real as an independent woman of 35 years can be. She is a regular, ordinary person, unlike the plastic beauties that we are used to in Bollywood cinema. While there is not much scope for Irrfan to work his regular magic, he doesn’t disappoint. We cannot imagine any other actor playing Yogi so beautifully. Parvathy as Jaya would be a revelation for the Hindi audience as down South, she has already proven her mettle. Eeshit Narain's cinematography captures North India in its raw form and the music of the film is situational, which goes well with the narrative.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
Nearing the climax, there’s a scene in which Jaya advises her assistant to take it slow with a guy she met through the online dating app. This is exactly how we felt in Jaya's situation, as there is not much detailing in the initial bonding between Yogi and her. It’s a bit unconvincing and hard to digest for the logical audience as to how two near-strangers embark on a journey together. Even before we see the trust building between them, they are already at the airport to board their flight for Delhi. The climax also seems to be shot in rush. But the director overall makes up for it, all thanks to her leads – Irrfan and Parvathy.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE:
This is not a typical Bollywood rom-com where you get to see exotic locations and forced intimate scenes. Rather, it’s one of the most subtle romantic comedies to come out after a long, long time. So this weekend, you can take a trip with your friends and family to the nearest theatre and let Qarib Qarib Singlle give you a fresh dose of entertainment.
If you are still not convinced, then check out our 5 reasons to watch Qarib Qarib Singlle