There is a lot to like in the new Yash Raj film Band Baaja Baaraat.
The love story of two wedding planners in Delhi, Shruti and Bittoo, played by Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh, has a charm and sweetness that’s been missing from YRF movies for many moons now.
Debutant director Maneesh Sharma, who has also written the story takes us out of the artificial studio setting and into the bylanes of the city. The dialogue and screenplay has been written by Habib Faisal, who directed another charming Delhi story, Do Dooni Chaar. So the characters and atmosphere have an authentic texture. When Bittoo speaks of cutting sugar cane in Saharanpur, you believe him.
This is also because debutant actor Ranveer Singh is pitch perfect in the role of the uncouth but good-hearted small town slacker who is a bit of a duffer when it comes to matters of the heart. This is a man who is constantly eating and doesn’t have qualms about speaking with his mouth full. He’s the type of guy who can’t pronounce business but is perfectly street-smart when it comes to actually running one.
The first half, in which him and Shruti set up their company is great fun, with weddings and struggle and a mid-point twist that will surprise you.
Even Anushka, who has been tediously bland in the films she’s done so far comes into her own as the ambitious Delhi girl, who dreams of upgrading to multi-crore Sainik Farms weddings.
Sadly, the second half is a big let down with too much fighting, stretched-out wedding sequences and even an item number in which Bittoo and Shruti fill in for Shah Rukh Khan who can’t dance at the wedding because he hurts his leg.
Incredibly enough, the guests applaud Bittoo furiously, not missing Shah Rukh at all. You will have to be patient with this and with the incessant wedding chatter about confetti and gulab ke phool.
But if you’re willing to cut Bittoo and Shruti some slack, Band Baaja Baaraat is reasonably entertaining. It’s definitely the most fun you’ll have in a theater this weekend.(NDTV)