Do you know those times where you’re thoroughly unimpressed by a trailer but you figure “what the hey, I’ll go see this one anyway”?
That was the case today with Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. It looks like exactly the same kind of rom com formula that produces as many fizzlers as sizzlers. And then there’s the fact that Imran and Kareena’s last movie — Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu — thoroughly sucked.
Well, I won’t tell you their chemistry’s gotten a whole lot better, because it hasn’t. It’s still mediocre.
But Gori Tere Pyaar Mein is actually pretty funny and fun for at least three quarters of the movie (the ending, however, slows down and drags on for a while once you hit all of the necessary moral stuff). And maybe it’s just because I wasn’t expecting much, but I had fun.
Case in point? You get to see Sriram (Imran), eked on by his unsuspecting family, dash out of his wedding with no shirt (alas, he has no six-pack anymore, ladies) and his dhoti hitched up around his knees. Meanwhile his Tamilian bride-to-be Vasudha (Shraddha Kapoor) stands by laughing almost as hard as I was.
|Bhaag, Sridevibhai, Bhaag!|
Oh, and Dia (Kareena) calls him Sridevi the whole movie, which Gujju villagers later, with a degree of respect, mold into “Sridevibhai.” That’s fun too.
But then again, I enjoyed writer-director Punit Malhotra’s maiden voyage, I Hate Luv Storys. Even when no one else seemed to.
And I think that Kareena is back in the one role that she truly excels at: a bubbly, high-energy and slightly paagal Punjabi girl. So you don't even have to be annoyed that her acting is lackluster because she's just being herself.
|It's Kareena Kapoor as... Kareena Kapoor!|
Other tidbits that were fun: Anupam Kher as the tax collector villain, which doesn’t happen often with Anupam Uncle; the tax collector’s crazy father; the in-jokes to Aamir and Salman Khan; the plethora of cute kids.
The family values and also subtle championing of the downtrodden (including girl babies, children with AIDS and rural villagers) were nice too. Also the jokes on Imran’s very fair skin — “he was switched in the hospital,” the dad says — are a pleasant change from the usual jokes in the opposite direction.
Things I could’ve done without in this movie: Shraddha Kapoor, who adds absolutely nothing. The music, especially when it’s imploring me to shake my tooh or telling Sriram’s mummy-daddy to kiss his ass. Kareena being called gori behen (thus the title). The absurdly neat but illogical ending (the villain’s father gives him what he wants, which makes no sense, while shaming him into doing what’s right, which does make sense).
The biggest thing I could have done without? Several allusions to Kareena’s “age,” and the fact that she’s “much older” than Imran. Which is absolutely absurd. She’s not even two and a half years older than him. I know Bollywood likes old heroes with young heroines and a woman past 30 is often considered out of her prime, but come on, guys, it’s not even three whole years!!! Get over it.
Is this a groundbreaking movie? No. Is it a cute little film with two not-half-bad-in-these-roles actors, Lagaan spoofs and a pet crab? Yep.