Parineeti Chopra, Sushant Singh Rajput, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor
There are very few films in Bollywood that come out of its trappings of simplistic storytelling and Shuddh Desi Romance is one such film. Band Baaja Baarat director Maneesh Sharma and Chak De India's writer Jaideep Sahni turn the simple, happy-go-lucky romcom genre of the long running saga of love stories by turning it upside down.
Raghu Ram (played by Sushant Singh Rajut) is a tourist guide in Jaipur. He suffers from pre-marital jitters but needs a woman in his life. Gayatri (played by Parineeti Chopra) is an open minded, independent girl who has the experience of being with a couple of guys in the past. Tara (played by newcomer Vanni Kapoor) knows exactly what's right for her but a little experimenting doesn't hurt. But when Raghu, Gayatri, and Tara come together, their beliefs change and love gets tested.
Shuddh Desi Romance is a coming out tale for Jaideep Sahni who wrote the story, dialogues, screenplay, and lyrics as he gives us a romantic love story which is utterly enjoyable, believable and a film that should connect with the whole family. From the opening scene we instantly fall in love with the characters as they make you smile even when the situation isn’t funny -- like when a groom has second thoughts about his own wedding.
Avoiding any sort of melodrama, Sharma and Sahni let everything loose -- from having a groom ditch his own wedding to portraying a new generation where single women can live with her boyfriend without being banished by her housing society. What also helps is that there is no sermonizing. It is just confusion, heart-aches, added with a whole bunch of laugh out loud moments.
Not everything works in Shuddh Desi Romance as the film loses some steam in the end, and the confrontations between Gayatri and Tara look either awkward or contrived for slightly. What also didn’t help is the use of talking-into-camera. Nitpickings aside, there’s a lot to like about Shuddh Desi Romance. From the beautifully portrayed Jaipur (especially during the Gulabi song), to the dialogues, and topping everything are the terrific performances from its superb cast.
Vaani Kappor leaves a lasting impression in her Bollywood debut as Tara as she fits in comfortably and looks to be at ease delivering Sahni’s fiery lines. Coming off a sensational performance in Kai Po Che, Sushant Singh Rajput once again wins you over as the charming Raghu. He brings freshness, has undeniable confidence, and has all the tools to become a superstar. But Shuddh Desi Romance belongs to Parineeti Chopra, as she totally owns Gayatri’s part with her expressive eyes. She brings realness and genuine depth to her character especially in scenes where she’s confronting Raghu. Notable mention goes out to Rishi Kapoor as Goyal as he brings out genuine laughs as the feisty wedding caterer.
I am giving director Maneesh Sharma’s Shuddh Desi Romance a MUST-WATCH. It’s a refreshing film that steps away from the trappings of a typical Bollywood love story. Definitely deserves a watch.