HASEE TOH PHASEE
Dharma Productions and Phantom Productions’ Hasee Toh Phasee (UA) is a love story. Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) is a happy-go-lucky guy, son of a principled police officer, S.B. Bharadwaj (Sharat Saxena). He falls in love with Karishma (Adah Sharma) who is the daughter of Devesh (Manoj Joshi), a well-to-do businessman. Nikhil is looking for someone to fund his business and even asks Karishma’s dad to fund it once the two decide to get married. Karishma, of course, doesn’t approve of this but she is also breathing down Nikhil’s neck to get his funding (from any other source) in place and start his business soon.
Karishma’s estranged sister, Meeta (Parineeti Chopra), who had, seven years ago, run away from home after stealing jewellery to fund her education, also lands up at the time of the wedding celebrations. Karishma asks Nikhil to take care of Meeta so that her family does not get to know that she is around.
By the by, Nikhil realises that Meeta is on drugs. He also develops a fondness for her and goes out of his way to ensure that her desire to see her father is fulfilled. Meeta also falls in love with Nikhil who is instrumental in making her give up drugs.
Does Meeta meet with her father? Does the family accept her? Does she express her love to Nikhil? Does Nikhil marry Meeta or Karishma? Does Meeta stay back with her family or does she return to China where she is currently carrying on business?
Harshavardhan Kulkarni’s story and screenplay are interesting and engaging, and the best thing about the drama is that it is quite unpredictable, especially the way it unfolds. Having said that, it must also be added that at several points in the drama, the audience gets the feeling that the writer has introduced twists and turns as per his convenience, without caring for continuity. The first half has a few dull moments but that’s more because the audience is sometimes unable to comprehend why what is happening, is happening. However, once the writer starts opening the cards after interval, things start falling into place. The good part of the screenplay is how Nikhil realises the true side of Meeta and how the character of Meeta unfolds till the audience wants to literally embrace her and love her. In other words, Meeta’s character, her innocence, simplicity, straightforwardness – as well as her characteristics – make her extremely endearing to the audience. The obedient streak in her often brings a lump in the viewer’s throat because of the extremes she goes to. Nikhil’s character, and the changes it goes through as the film progresses, are interesting to watch.
The humour in the film is often more of the kind which the multiplex audience would appreciate and enjoy. Dialogues, penned by Anurag Kashyap, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Purva Naresh and Vinil Mathew, are appropriately witty and funny, but again, would appeal more to the classes.
Sidharth Malhotra shows a remarkable maturity in his second film. He acts with effortless ease and shines as Nikhil. He looks very handsome and is eye candy for girls. Parineeti Chopra delivers an award-winning performance. She is extraordinary and lives the role of Meeta, making every scene in which she appears immensely watchable for her brilliance! Adah Sharma lends good support in the role of Karishma. Sharat Saxena is superb as the strict police officer. He entertains well. Manoj Joshi is first-rate, both, in comic as well as emotional scenes. His acting in the scene in which he breaks down emotionally in front of his brother is terrific. Sameer Khakhar acts effectively in the role of Alpesh, brother of Devesh (Manoj Joshi). Neena Kulkarni makes her presence felt as Nikhil’s mother. Amita Udgata (as Kaveri), Bhavna Chauhan (as Gargi), Devika Gidwani (as Saro), Dhanika Jaggi (as Lacho), Dimple Danda (as Deeksha), Disha Upadhyay (as Prateeksha), Lily Patel (as Dadi), Madhuri Sanjeev (as Jayanti), Pushpa (as Alpesh’s wife), Tinnu Anand (as Mukesh Adnani), Bobby Darling, the child artistes and the others provide able support.
Vinil Mathew’s direction is impressive. For his first film, he has selected a subject and characters which are difficult to narrate and handle. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is nice but the absence of hit and super-hit music is sorely felt. ‘Zehnaseeb’ is melodious while ‘Drama queen’ and ‘Punjabi wedding song’ are fast-paced numbers. Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kumaar’s lyrics are engaging. Choreo- graphy of the songs (Remo D’souza, Bosco-Caesar and Ahmed Khan) is nice but, like the music, there is no song picturisation which stands out. Amar Mangrulkar’s background music is appropriate. Sanu Varughese’s camerawork is very good. Aditya Kanwar’s sets are nice. Editing (by Shweta Venkat) is sharp.
On the whole, Hasee Toh Phasee is for the classes more than the masses. However, its very poor start on the one hand and the looming opposition of Gunday next week on the other will tell adversely on its overall performance at the box-office in the final tally.