Bollywood Review: Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan end ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ on a bad note

Rajkummar Rao is reduced to wear a weird wig and scream and shout. (Supplied)

It’s not right to laugh at another’s misfortune. But, director Mohit Suri pushes us to do the inappropriate.
So, when the lady with big brown eyes and luscious curls, tears up every time her “missing” husband is mentioned or when she sees his name tattooed on her hand, or when she sprints to hold the ‘mangalsutra’ (the thread that symbolises marriage), we can’t help but crack up.
Or, when an older woman plays music to her lover, now strapped to a bed, with the hope of reviving him.
And that’s unfortunate. These could’ve been more promising on paper, but on screen, it’s pure comedy.
Even the romance is fairly trivial, and reduced to a bunch of photographs and white flowers.

For a man, who has excelled in exploring pain and rejection with genius strokes in cinematic gems like ‘Saaransh’, ‘Daddy’ and ‘Zakm’, Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ fails to evoke any genuine emotion.
It’s probably the economics of the movie business that’s ruined this filmmaker’s insight, or his nephew’s inexpert ways that’s responsible for this unhappy ending. Writer Shagufta Rafiq’s dialogues are jarring and oddly poetic, and add to the chaos.
Like most Bhatt movie franchise, this one also appears to be inspired by many tales from Hollywood and Bollywood. There’s glimpses of ‘Maid in Manhattan’ and Balan’s own ‘Kahani’ slipping in pointlessly. Even his female protagonist strangely echoes ‘Dabangg’ girl Sonakshi’s famous lines about how she’s unafraid of kicks and abuses, but not romance.
The 150-minute story shifts from being modern, to being regressive. To being pointless.
Despite hiring the talented Balan, Mohit orders her to glare and gawk at abandon. And, Bhatt writes her the most uninspiring character to play, who is high on glycerine. It’s tough to sympathise with Vasudha’s struggles, or her desire to “be happy”. When a woman walks in the middle of the desert, with a trolley bag in hand, you know she’s got it horribly wrong.
Balan’s evidently uncomfortable being Vasudha, and plays her rather off-key. It’s when she sneaks away to click a peculiarly sensuous selfie, you can sense that disconnect.
Emraan Hashmi, as Vasudha’s Knight in shining armour, is equally detached. He’s got soulful tunes to lip-sync, but nothing more to contribute. “Can I take a picture?” was his most repeated and cheered dialogue. He’s joined by a bestie who is on flight-check all the time.
Rajkummar Rao is reduced to wear a weird wig and scream and shout. It’s a pity how his talent is wasted.
If not for anything, go in for the laughs.

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