Rajkummar Rao, Shruti Haasan, Gautam Gulati, Gulshan Grover, Darshan Jariwala, Ninad Kamat
"We have seen TRAPPED (since it was the most recent), so we know that Rajkummar Rao can single handedly carry off a film and earn revenue. But even he could not salvage BEHEN HOGI TERI," writes Shubarna Mukerji Shu.
No one does the guy next door better than Rajkummar Rao. He is pretty much the manifestation of the phrase. His casual ways and his instant connect with audience is his strength so when we saw Shiv aka Gattu (Rao) we were sure he will find a way right into our hearts. After all, BEHEN HOGI TERI is a ‘love thy neighbor’ kind of romantic comedy. The film is about Shiv and his neighborhood hottie, Binny (Shruti Haasan) who he has been in love with all his life. Binny is everything Shiv isn’t - she is pretty, she is popular and she knows it. So obviously, Gattu realizes his chances with her are, at best, slim. After years of silently adoring his neighbor, Gattu is frustrated and desperate enough to make her want to notice his feelings. The desperation leads to a series of ‘prove yourself’ kind of tasks which are tedious to watch instead of fun. Even in Lucknow, college goers do no behave like teenage kids gushing over each other and making a cake of themselves over nothing, Mr. Pannalal.
Gattu’s sense of romance is not romantic. There is not one moment in the film wherein you feel his heart, for that matter you don’t even feel his lust. However in the midst of all the tasks Gattu dearest was performing in order to win Binny over, his father sees Binny with a friend and assumes Binny is having an affair with the guy. Exhausted? Well, there is a lot more. Binny’s family has already decided on an NRI husband for her. In addition, she is now also linked with the new guy, and no one seems to know about the erstwhile neighbor and his love for Binny. While Gattu is trying in vain to clear the mess of unwanted suitors around his neighborhood, he also joins a jagrata band! Why? Don’t ask, I am not sure even Mr. Pannalal has figured it out. There is so much happening in BEHEN HOGI TERI, that as an audience you feel the best solution is to close your eyes and enjoy the cool air and the smell of popcorn.
Rajkummar Rao, for all his superlative work, delivers a good performance but you cannot seem to shake off the thought that his only agenda in the film is to prove his brand and versatility in the commercial space – there can be no other reason for him to have signed this film. Rao has his class, he has a market of his own standing so films like BEHEN HOGI TERI can really do nothing for his career other than perhaps snag the pace he is going at. While he is convincing as Gattu, the premise of the film is painful for the thinking man. Albeit the film is about a certain section of India, it is rather too regressive to be even considered entertaining. Having Shruti Haasan trying to do a Geet from JAB WE MET, was wrong. She looked forced and rather unimpressed through most part of the film. Which brings us to the storyline – you cannot force a mediocre film to tout disjointed, meaningful anecdotes and assume you have done justice in the name of entertainment. Mr. Pannalal better luck next time.