Irrfan Khan, Parvathy, Bajrangbali Singh
Yogi (Irrfan) and Jaya (Parvathy) might not have much in common except a string of bad relationships which binds them together in an odd way. That and of course, the internet.
The film begins with the share of experiences that builds Jaya and the gaping void in her life is tangible. Having lost her husband a few years ago, Jaya is now trying to build her life once again, when she chances upon Yogi’s profile. While Jaya would have liked someone more like her, in the way of thought and life, Jaya ends up meeting Yogi, against her better judgment.
While they might not agree upon everything, they are both tired of walking the paths of life alone, so they decide to journey together. We see glimpses of their differences and also celebration of their hope, despite the many failed relationships, they are not as broken as they had once felt. In a simple yet, beautifully woven story – Tanuja Chandra brings romance, smiles and hope back into our life.
Tanuja Chandra is a remarkable yet under-appreciated directed. She might not make movies as often as others but each time she surfaces she comes up with something memorable. The fact that Qarib Qarib Singlle is based on a play written by her mother years ago, gives the film a special air. Despite the original script dating many years ago, there is freshness in the film. It might have come from the fact that we are all so exhausted seeing overly dramatic cinema, that Qarib Qarib… comes to us like fresh air. There is happiness, there is also sorrow and a bit of bitterness yet none of them surmount the simplicity in the film. There is no loud confrontation scene, though each of the protagonists are confronting their pasts and their deepest fears.
There is nothing that jars in the film, even the music is completely in sync with the mood of the film. Clearly Tanuja Chandra has learnt well from her mentor Mahesh Bhatt, with whom she has worked on films like Tamanna, Dushmann and Sangharsh… she weaves the songs so beautifully into the script that it leaves you with a sigh. Highlight being Irrfan singing ‘Bade acche lagte hai…’
But that’s Irrfan and his charm at work. Through the film there are moments which remind you of Irrfan in Hindi Medium or Irrfan in some other film, but that’s only because of his swag and insouciant appeal that is perhaps repeated unintentionally. Given the film has a sweet, realistic feel to it, the film complements his persona perfectly. He is meant to be Yogi and Yogi, he! There are no two ways about it, simply because any other actor could have over-played the garishly dressed, fun-ster, treading the thin line where Yogi comes across has fun and not frivolous. He was done beautifully only because of Irrfan’s talent.
And yet, despite his talent and star-status, it is sweet, simple Jaya who stands out despite her colorless clothes, shyness, and desperate wanting to please all sort of persona. Parvathy as Jaya is everything Bollywood should be praying for. She is gorgeous and yet, she is not overly dressed up. You love her despite the fact that she is not size-zero girl trying to be a me-too. She is simple and unapologetically herself, as is the film, as is the director. More power to these who refuse to conform. Hail the mature-minds!