by Amit Upadhyaya
Hasee Toh Phasee can be viewed in different ways. It is a genre film, alright. But It can also be seen as a very Nora Ephron-ish story, built around a slightly neurotic female protagonist. Finally, it is a curious coming-together of two marquee names, of two different brands of cinema – Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap.
The only reason I was excited about the film was Parineeti Chopra. She has had three releases before this film and she owned all the three. Does she deliver here? YES. It might be a bit of stretch to predict this right now but I’ll stick my neck out and say that we are witnessing the making of a great actor.
Which is all the more important here because this romantic-comedy is almost entirely dependent on the two leads, Meeta (Chopra) and Nikhil (Siddharth Malhotra). In tune with my earlier posts here, I won’t talk much about the plot. Meeta, a scientist, returns home after seven years and falls for Nikhil, the fiancée of her sister Karishma (Adah Sharma). Rest is, more or less, ‘rom-com’ stuff.
Meeta’s character has been given a very deliberate twist and Nikhil is the perfect foil for her – a right balance to the unique element that the character of Meeta lends to the film. He is earnest, well-meaning, and awkwardly-stuck to his idea of relationships. Siddharth Malhotra, who showed spark in his first film (Student of The Year) plays Nikhil with a lot of honesty and makes it work. He has a definite screen presence and uses that to his advantage when the character starts going out of his reach. It is becoming increasingly difficult for actors to stand up to Parineeti Chopra but he doesn’t disappoint.
Vinil Mathew was an ad-filmmaker and it shows in the film’s sense of humour. Having said that, several of the hilarious and well-done sequences do not quite stand out because the screenplay is very disjointed. Dialogues, at their witty best, help in covering-up the lapses that the writer has made. It could have easily have been 20 minutes shorter but the writer-director take the character route rather than the plot. Honestly, I didn’t mind that because the performances are so good, all round. The crux of the film, Meeta’s relationship with her father, is hefty enough to bear the weight of the film.
I have no idea though if I’ll go back to Hasee Toh Phasee ever again and some of that has to do with the songs. All of them sound very good but not in the film. Their placement made me curious if it was the ‘Dharma’ of the director that made him go for songs when they didn’t add anything to the film.
This is, then, basically, just another winner performance from Parineeti Chopra who is now working at another level compared to other actors in the industry. I only hope that she keeps getting the roles that deserve her and her choices don’t let her down.
P.S – Who gave the film its title? And there should at least be a ‘n’ in ‘Hasee’ and ‘Phasee’!
(Amit Upadhyaya, an Allahabadi turning his nose up at all things Delhi, is a student of journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. By his own admission, however, he tries to spend most of his waking hours over Bollywood – analyzing, watching, and planning future movies. He now has a gig as a sub-editor of the famous indie film website dearcinema.com)