Who wouldn’t be curious about a film with a title like Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu? But like they say, never judge a book by its cover. Directed by theatre actor-director Makarand Deshpande, the film is constructed around an interesting premise – our obsession with celebrities – but it never rises above its one-line idea.

Laali (played by Pritika Chawla) is a feisty flower-seller at a traffic signal in Mumbai, whose life changes one day, when her favourite movie-star Shah Rukh Khan stops at a light and says a kind word to her. Now over the moon, Laali starts building sandcastles in the air. But her misguided arrogance puts her in trouble when a jealous admirer attacks her with a knife.

Deshpande’s film has a taste for the unusual, but can’t seem to pull itself out of an abysss of silliness. A delusional Laali can’t stop mooning about Shah Rukh Khan, while her admirer John (played by Sanjay Dadheech) turns into a real-life Devdas, spurning the advances of a bar-dancer who loves him, and drinking himself silly over a woman he can’t have.

Even though the film is set in the slums of Mumbai, it strongly needs a reality check. A subplot about a local journalist relentlessly pursuing Laali’s story doesn’t ring true, and the film’s muddled climax makes little sense.

Deshpande shows a glimmer of promise, particularly in his convincing representation of secondary characters, but the story runs out of steam quite early on. Even Shah Rukh Khan himself, popping up in a tiny cameo, can’t lend this film any sheen.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Makarand Deshpande’s Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu. Watch it, but only if you must.

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