Movie Review: BAND BAAJA BAARAAT (2010)
For those of you who are regulars to this Blog (I assume that’s a LOT of you) you know how I feel about Indian films that aren’t consistent with their tone and over all genre, as I mentioned in reviews like ANJAANA ANJAANI. However, BAND BAAJA BAARAAT is a prime example of how a love story can be handled with light heartedness, casual-ness and none of the mind numbingly trite flowery bullshit that Bollywood feels are pre-requirements for a romance.
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Starsromantic gold, without the crap…
Before watching this film, I had heard from print and online media, that BAND BAJAA BAARAAT was an Indianized version of J.Lo’s THE WEDDING PLANNER. *rage filled outrage warning* WTF?! This film was nothing like Lopez’s morally ambiguous ass fest posing as a “chick flick”. THE WEDDING PLANNER gave us the horrible story of a sad and lonely girl who plans others’ perfect weddings, while being single even though she’s hot as shit (to others)… who happens to fall in love with a guy who’s wedding she’s planning. I know what you’re thinking… ‘awwwwww, poor slut.’ Whereas BAND BAAJA BAARAAT is more about two struggling entrepreneurs that become friends, decide to condemn any current or future emotional attachment to each other, for the sake of the business’ well being, but after years together… things obviously take a turn for the worse. How the fuck do either of these movies sound anything like each other?! So the leads in both films have the same jobs—oh it’s the same movie! Idiots.
Anyways… the film itself is incredibly light hearted and fun, but the best thing is that it’s able to maintain that tone through out. (unlike this emotionally volatile review) Despite the serious and heavy scenes, the director does a great job of being consistent with the feel of the film, and not letting the serious-ness bog down the over all fun feel of it.
BAND BAAJA BAARAAT is basically about two people who meet in a very desi way, at a wedding. Not in the typical ‘love at first sight’ way, but rather in an altercation as the hero crashes the wedding for free food and gets caught by the leading lady, who helped organize the wedding. Their chance encounter leads the male to pursue her, only to find out that she has a plan. She wants to start a wedding company of her own, and succeed or fail, will get married according to her parents’ choice 5 years later. Her drive and dreams entices our hero who agrees with her to keep things professional between them, as long as he can be her partner in said business. It’s a great set up, and not at all cheesy, because prior to the partnership, our hero was an ambition-less bum just coasting through life. As their business develops, the two characters get close, and the inevitable happens.
The two main leads do an amazing job of making us truly believe their roles. Anushka Sharma is fast becoming one of my favorite actresses. Debutant Ranveer Singh makes an impact as well as a very street wise college student that refuses to join the family business of farming, and lies to his father about being involved in a wedding planning business to remain in the city; a lie he created after hearing about Anushka’s character’s dreams. The only downside for a newcomer like him after such a great character driven role, is that it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince the audience of his portrayal of other characters.ah… loves
First things first though, the relationship of the two leads throughout the film were treated very tastefully, no uncomfortable romantic glances, sweet gestures or any of that BS. They were friends and had the funniest interactions. Each character complimented that aspect of the others’ personality which they lacked, making a very effective pairing, both professionally and personally. It’s not till the third act that any sort of romantic dynamic develops between the two.
The first two acts are amazing to watch as it’s essentially a grand montage of the growth of their business. Wedding Planning isn’t a huge concept in India as of yet (as far as I know), so it was very cool to watch the type of people these two would interact with and get as their clients. As they succeed and develop and grow, so do their lives, money and happiness, not to mention the celebrations. *wink wink*. This won’t be spoilerific review so I can’t go beyond this about the details of the plot.
The movie boasts of all the typical commercially mainstream things that make a Bollywood movie a success; catchy soundtrack, great song and dance routines, good looking protagonists, and all that superficial crap. But despite being commercial, the story and pacing develops very nicely and doesn’t try to cram things into the film for the sake of pandering. The dynamic between the two characters is really what drives the movie. It’s very realistic and shows the couple more as friends than lovey dovey pop tarts that are infatuated with each other, as is generally portrayed. Even the romance aspects of the film are handled with a lot more maturity and realism than I’m used to seeing.
Colorful and kitchy is really the best way to describe the movie, which also happens to what the two leads are proud to provide as part of their wedding planning business. BAND BAJAA BAARAAT is a very unique film with a story that is quite original and has a lot of elements that make is suitable for everyone from families to even cynics that despise the conventional Bollywood love stories.