Some guys have all the fun. In Bachna Ae Haseeno, this week’s new release, Ranbir Kapoor plays Raj, the kind of guy whose idea of fun is a string of no-strings-attached relationships which he can pop out of the moment the ladies get too clingy.
He’s what you’d call a chick-magnet, and he’s been one ever since he was 18; first breaking a cupcake-cute sardarni’s heart while on holiday in Switzerland; then ditching his model girlfriend at the altar a few years later.
He gets his own heart broken when he meets the girl he’s finally ready to settle down with. Convinced he won’t find true happiness till he’s paid for his earlier mistakes, he sets off to seek forgiveness from the ladies he wronged.
In fact, the film’s first half flits by without too many hiccups as the screenplay succeeds entirely in keeping a consistent tone through all three of Raj’s romantic chapters. The film borrows its basic plot and its episodic narrative from Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers and the Tamil hit Autograph, but for the most part, Bachna Ae Haseeno is a home-grown Yash Raj product, complete with references to the banner’s many recent films, and a rather indulgent nod to its most popular hit, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
It’s post-intermission that Bachna Ae Haseeno nosedives drastically, its screenplay skidding off the path and going into predictable territory. You’re never quite satisfied with the manner in which Raj achieves his redemption with the two girls. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say he’s let off the hook too easily, and it’s a failure on the part of the writers that we never once feel like Raj has truly understood what a cad he’s been.
The emotional scenes in the second half are so laboured, the film loses its grip on your attention completely. What started out as such an enjoyable screen experience is irreparably damaged by careless writing—you can’t really expect us to feel sorry for the way his exes respond to him when he turns up suddenly with an apology.
It’s difficult to explain without going into details, but the manner in which the film wraps up its third act is so convenient, you get the feeling they were running out of time or ideas or both.
Yet, Bachna Ae Haseeno is not entirely unwatchable. A big reason why this film doesn’t entirely suck is because of its inspired cast who put their best foot forward. Minissha Lamba is a revelation, especially in the film’s first half; she’s earnest and sincere and fits the role to a T.
Bipasha Basu is the best she’s been in a long, long time, and plays her part so well, you can literally see the growth her character’s made in the film. –IBNLive