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Shaadi Ka Laddoo Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, April 26, 2004 • Hindi ]
Shaadi Ka Laddoo Review
Sanjay Suri, Ashish Chowdhary, Mandira Bedi, Divya Dutta, Samita Bangargi
Raj Kaushal
Vicky Tejwani and Raj Kaushal

Thank god for Sanjay Suri! He always makes the most of a rather sorry bargain. This film is no exception.

A hotshot ad maker, Ravi Kapoor, is in London. His buddy, Som, is from Ladhiana. Ravi is unmarried and sick of his single status. Som is married and raring to go. All this is an amusing premise for a romantic comedy, specially when handled by a director who knows the world he is entering. Raj Kaushal takes us into the seemingly sexy but supremely sad world of Ravi Kapoor (Ashish Chowdhary) who looks enviously at his pal's seemingly perfect marriage with the nice, warm Punjabi girl (Divya Dutta) while Som (Sanjay Suri) in London looks at every skirt and sari in sight. The film's mood is wonderfully created through animation. London has never looked more languorous and accommodating, thanks to Amit Roy's cinematography. Like "I Proud To Be An Indian", the city is a living character in the plot. The music and songs by Vishal-Shekhar include a silent homage to evergreen  Hindi numbers like "Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein". It makes you nostalgic for all the wrong reasons. "Kabhi Kabhi" was also a romantic saga. But gosh, how
far apart from "Shaadi Ka Ladoo" and its urbane ilk! Much of what transpires among the quartet of friends in the city fails to involve the audience. Kaushal gets the mood right. But the crux seems to be missing most of the way. While Shashank Dabral's screenplay, blessedly original all the way, gives the characters room to breathe freely, the plot doesn't navigate its people in any comfortable, inviting way. Where we ought to have been gripped by Ravi's search for the right spouse and Som's seven (or is it eight?) year itch, we barely bring ourselves to smile in a sequence such as the one where Som, pretending with Ravi to be putting up at a posh hotel in London, sneaks into an ordinary inn, gets his stuff and joins Ravi outside Holiday Inn. Holiday mood? You bet! This is a feel good film all right. In the interaction among the characters, Kaushal brings a mood of jaunty wisdom. These are people who are clueless about what they want. Wisely, the director keeps the mood light and simple. Devices from TV sitcoms and cartoon strips, not to mention a couple of extremely amiable Broadway-styled musical set pieces, keep our interests alive... but barely.

The sparse, minimalist narration is overloaded with dialogues, and not of a very funny variety. Take the potentially hilarious sequence where Ravi, one by one, calls up his past dates to propose marriage and they all turn him down on one pretext or another. The girls whom Ravi proposes to seem to be masquerading as misogynistic stereotypes while the playboy seems almost saintly.

A great set of dialogues could've lifted the film beyond a blizzard of babble. Unfortunately Dabral's dialogues don't help.The film doesn't really push the romantic cartwheel hard enough. Sure you
enjoy Ravi Kapoor's tentative courtship with Menka (Samita Bangargi, playing the waitress cutely) as Som eggs on the wide-eyed Casanova. But the sequence where Som instructs Ravi on a mobile phone is straight out of a 1960s sitcom, no giggles attached.Sure you enjoy Ravi's platonic friendship with the stable, sane and funny Tara (Mandira Bedi). And that moment at the end when, stunned by his rejection in love, he rests his head on Tara's lap, is a beauty.But isn't Tara too smart to get involved with someone as cheesy as Som? Why does she? Because he offers her mom's homemade recipe for a cold? Come on! Romantic love is in this way trivialised to the point of pretty prattle posing as a profound statement on the urban diaspora. The last half hour is specially blotchy, with the climactic marriage scene - where the laddoos finally making their cloying appearance -- looking disastrously washed out. What's more, the sound quality is exasperatingly uneven. Most of the time we can't make out a wo

Rating: 0 / 5.0


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