Tuesday, May 24

Pyaar Ka Punchnama - The funniest tragedy I've seen!!

Movie - Pyaar Ka Punchnama (Hindi)
Writer/Director - Luv Ranjan
Producer - Abhishek Pathak
Cast - Kartikeya Tiwari, Rayo Bakhirta, Divyendu Sharma, Sonalli Sehgal, Nushrat Bharucha, Ishita Sharma
Music - Clinton Cerejo, Hitesh Sonik, Luv Ranjan, Ad Boys
Cinematography - Sudhir K Chaudhury
Editor - Akiv Ali
Release Date - 20th May 2011

There have been n - number of movies in India which featured issues of exploitation (physical, emotional, social) of women by men. Pyaar Ka Punchnama addresses a different issue, which is important in its own way - the exploitation of the emotionally weaker sex, MEN, by women at so many different levels. There are so many people to speak for women, but what about men, who do not even acknowledge such problems to themselves, leave alone talk about it to others, just because they're supposed to be 'Men'. Luv Ranjan cleverly brings all this together in his brilliant satire on relationships, Pyaar Ka Punchnama soaked in sharp humour, something which 3-time National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar so miserably failed to do in his lousy attempt at romantic comedy, Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji

Rajat (Kartikeya), Vikrant Chaudhury (Rayo) & Liquid/Nishant (Divyendu) are 3 best buddies sharing an apartment in Delhi, each having his own boring job and list of frustrations, the biggest of them being that they are all single. And as their lives progress, Rajat falls for Neha (Nushrat), Chaudhury gets closer to Riya (Sonalli) and Liquid finds his first female friend in Charu (Ishita Sharma). Rajat moves on to a live-in relationship with Neha, Chaudhury helps Riya get over her break up with ex, Varun and Liquid tries to be an honest best friend to Charu who rejects his proposal. From here on, the lives of the 3 of them turn topsy turvy in ways they couldnt have imagined. 

3 different shades of modern day relationships are explored in the process of the narrative and its guaranteed that every guy who watches this movie would find at least some of him in either of the 3 characters. Be it Rajat, who tries to do everything to keep his complaining girlfriend happy or Vikrant who honestly tries to help Riya to get over her previous relationship; and the most honest of them - Liquid, who tries to be a support system for the manipulative colleague who is just interested in using him at her pleasure; being the biggest loser of them all . Many might have complaints that the movie has painted all its female characters completely evil. But hey, thats not true. The movie actually portrays how much more stronger they are compared to men, when it comes to the mind. They are confused most of the time;  but if they make their mind that they want something, they know the exact ways to get it done. The guys are not all white either. They have their own flaws and problems as well. 

[And even if the female characters are leaning towards negative shades, is that such a big problem? Dont men stay quiet when almost all of them are stereotypically depicted as lecherous creatures behind the woman's body in almost all of those female-oriented movies?? This movie tells how men feel about certain women who manipulate them. So take it like that, and if you cant handle it, then please dont watch this movie.]

The movie doesnt have your typical Hindi film romance or heroes or heroines. One of our heroes cries like a baby falling on her lap when she tells him that she's leaving him and another is terribly humiliated in his own office by someone for whom he remained a loyal dog. So if you are used to the Rajshri, Dharma, Yashraj kind of romances, stay away from this one, as this shows the real deal. Not all relationships may not be like the ones shown in this movie, but most of them do go through several stages which are depicted in this movie for sure. The movie tries to understand the toughest question of them all - 'What does a woman really want?' and fails in its quest by the end, just like our heroes. And director Luv Ranjan has done that with a confident and irreverent attitude by portraying many heartbreaking moments through such hilarity. 

The performances by the 3 guys are fantastic. Divyendu steals the show beyond doubt. Playing the desperate, seedha-saadha Liquid who is all talk but no action, he is just mindblowing. He gets the best lines in the movie as well. Kartikeya's hopeless lover who loses it after a point is brilliant in his own way. Watch out for him in his 6-minute long monologue (one of the best I've seen in Hindi), he's too good in it. Rayo plays the laid-back Chaudhury, in his undies whenever he's at home, with a guitar for company most of the time. He also makes a confident and impressive debut. Out of the ladies, it is clearly Nushrat who plays Neha who gets the maximum screen time and makes the most use of it as well. She plays her part so well that it is hard not to hate her. ;) Sonalli as Riya is neither attractive nor very effective, but since her character is written well, we dont mind it so much. Ishita is impressive playing the manipulative Charu effectively. And each of these actors should thank their writers for giving them such effectively etched-out characters. 

You're so immersed in the narrative of the movie that it is hard to notice the work of the rest of the crew. Sudhir Chaudhury's slick and flashy cinematography sets the right mood for the film. The bachelor pad created by the art director would make every guy wish to have one like it, even though its mostly in a mess. Akiv Ali has put together the 3 different tracks very well, but he could've sharpened the movie a bit more in the second half. Music and background score are super-effective, even though one or two songs unnecessarily slowed down the pace. The 'Ban gaya kutta' song has been used to hilarious effect in many scenes. 

Pyaar Ka Punchnama has more laugh-out-loud moments than all the mundane comedies that Bollywood has been producing over the past few years. And the movie makes sense too. Now, thats a rare combination in Bollywood. If Dil Chahta Hai set the benchmark on narrating stories on friendship and relationships in the last decade, Pyaar Ka Punchnama does that for this decade, without any star power to back it. The dialogues are howlarious, especially Rajat's monologue. [The constant beeps everytime there was the slightest of abuses, were really annoying. Will our Censor Board ever grow up?]

It is a perfect buddy film. And its also a tragedy in the sense that every man, be it Superman or Batman, was a dog to his woman at some point or the other. So guys, go catch this flick after a couple of beers with your best friends and have a great time. Hilarious scenes, great performances and a fresh take on relationships. What more could you ask for!! And please dont make the mistake of taking your girlfriends along, as it might lead to events of disastrous proportions. ;) 

If Woody Allen ever made a mainstream Hindi movie, it would be something like this. And yea, I think I can take some liberty and call Pyaar Ka Punchnama as the Dil Chahta Hai of this decade. It actually goes much beyond where Dil Chahta Hai went. Luv Ranjan and team, take a bow!! 

Bottomline - Launde log, is film ko dekh lena apne doston ke saath, immediately!! 

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