Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain

Sanjay Mishra, Ekavali Khanna, Anshuman Jha, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Pankaj Tripathi and Brijendra Kala.
Harish Vyas

In 1971, what Norman Jewison accomplished in a song, Harish Vyas has tried to bring about in his film. Yashwant Batra (Sanjay Mishra) and Kiran (Ekavali Khanna) have been married forever. Not happily married, but they are holding onto their ends of the bargain and chugging along. Their quiet relationship only gets animated when their differences come out. And there are plenty. She comes from a wealthy family, now stuck doing common chores. He lives his life within the city limits, riding his rickety scooter but commanding respect.

A sudden turmoil comes when first their spirited daughter Preeti (Shivani Raghuvanshi) informs them that she might have feelings for a neighbour (Anshuman Jha). While they don’t know how to curb their daughter, Yashwant Batra meets Firoz (Pankaj Tripathi)… Firoz is spending his time taking care of his ailing wife, Suman, someone he loves more than words can say, who loves him back in equal measures. Firoz and Suman’s marriage is a complete antithesis to the Batras’. This brings the family to one day corner their patriarch into giving his wife the three little words. Something so simple, Yashwant cannot get himself to do….

What starts with a simple challenge snowballs out of control, and suddenly we have Yashwant trying desperately to win his wife over. On paper this film begins where most end so it obviously grabs your attention but what begins as a sweet ode to most married couples who have let habit deprive them of the excitement of love, soon turns into gimmicks and silliness.

Post interval the bittersweet smiles turn into a cringe-fest, with Sanjay Mishra trying to do what Shah Rukh did in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi… but that’s not his repertoire. The hamming becomes uncontrollable and the solid premise on which the film was standing crumbles. You walk out of the theatre disappointed.

Harish Vyas took up a lovely narrative, excellent actors and forgot to jazz it up with a fitting screenplay. The turn the film takes towards comedy in the second half, starts the downward spiral, once again reminding filmmakers that light-hearted comedies require a lot more hard work than any other genre. Next time perhaps, Harish won't get so confused about his purpose and make a wonderful film, start to finish.

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