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24 May

Haute review: Meri Pyaari Bindu

Meri Pyaari Bindu plays to the heartstrings; it’s a song of love. 

While the familiar theme of childhood friends-turned-lovers is hardly entertaining, Meri Pyaari Bindu still makes for a delightful watch. For it contains fleeting moments of joy borne out of love and purity of expression.

For all its criticism, the directorial debut of Akshay Roy offers some feel-good moments for the hopeless romantic. Written by Suprotim Sengupta, the film centers around childhood friends Bindu (Parineeta Chopra) and Abhimanyu (Ayushmann Khurrana), brought together by their love for Hindi film music. The film has been co-produced by Aditya Chopra and Maneesh Sharma.

Despite the weak script, the film manages to depict the innocence of a young friendship developing into stronger feelings of love. It portrays the story of Abhi, aka Bubla, a struggling writer who grapples with the horror genre, but his heart is in writing a romance novel about the love of his life, Bindu, an aspiring singer.

The first half of the film explores the unique facets of their relationship and Roy makes the characters lovable and relatable. Traversing through the highs and lows, the story is driven by the characters more than the moments. Although a light plot, the storyline drags in some of the places. Still, the sequence of stumbling, falling and fumbling in love is enough to make one giddy.

However, the second half lacks the same appeal. The pace slackens and the moments become pretentious. There are many unnecessary scenes that only prolong the plot, without really moving it forward. The stretched climax is another negative. It left me unsatisfied and disheartened. Oddly, I still left the theatre with a big grin plastered across my face. It was the overall charm coupled with brilliant performances by Chopra and Khuranna that won me over. If only they were given a better script…

Director Roy attempts to recreate a 500 Days of Summer-esque romance, but falters due to the lack of a solid plot and narrative. The film that heavily relies on emotive moments, also borrows from Piku. But is not nearly half as convincing. The nostalgia brought in from old songs exemplifies the interaction of the characters, spotlighting their chemistry.

Mostly shot in Kolkata, the film contains some picturesque moments captured by cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray. For instance, when Bindu and Abhi meet in Goa, he follows her bus on a bike, with an old man sitting beside him. The scene truly won my heart, however such moments are few and far between.

The core strength of the film lies in the performances of its lead actors; it seems the roles have been tailored for them. Chopra dazzles as Bindu, she transforms into the role and makes it her own. A scene where she remembers her mother is deeply moving. Her rendition of old classic songs such as ‘Abhi Na Jao’ and ‘Aiye Meherbaan’ and contemporary originals including the lilting ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ are equally mesmerizing. It is refreshing to see her whip up some magic, after the disastrous Kill Dill.

Khuranna, with his own brilliant performance, complements Chopra and pulls off a complex role with much aplomb. Among the supporting cast Prakash Belawadi, featured as Bindu’s father deserves a special mention for bringing his own presence.

Composed by Sachin Jigar, the soundtrack ‘Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin’ is memorable. As are other soothing songs like ‘Afeemi’ and ‘Khol De Baahein’. Meanwhile, ‘Ye Jawaani Teri’ is a fun, foot-tapping, retro number. In contrast, some of the old Hindi film songs seamlessly weave into the narrative.

Verdict: Despite, incredible performances by the lead actors and good music, the film fails to keep the interest live owing to poor script and convoluted screenplay. One hopes that both actors pick better scripts for films in future since they have some great chemistry.

Aryaan Aslam