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Times of India
THIS ROM-COM TAKES A DETOUR FROM THE NORM
Qarib Qarib Singlle Story:
A contemporary love story between two opposite personalities who embark upon an unusual journey, which becomes an adventure of a lifetime.
Qarib Qarib Singlle Review:
By now, we're well aware of the formula behind Bollywood romantic movies. When boy meets girl, they fall in love and overcome all their hurdles because in the end - Love conquers all. Oversimplification aside, it's been a while since we've seen a rom-com that manages to subvert the route usually taken by these movies. 'Qarib Qarib Singlle' certainly embarks on the road less traveled, and for the most part, it succeeds. Parvathy makes her Bollywood debut as the unassuming Jaya. The accomplished South Indian actress plays a confident girl-next-door who appears to have a stable job and caring friends. Her life is quite self-sufficient and she's otherwise sorted, save for that one missing element. Fortunately, co-writer and director Tanuja Chandra chooses not to paint Jaya as a woman who is incomplete without a man. She dresses casually, doesn't hide under layers of makeup and even breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to us, making her very relatable; even a tad mundane. Grounded in Parvathy's understated portrayal, Jaya's backstory reasonably justifies why she would resort to online dating to find a suitable companion.
This allows her to take some otherwise questionable decisions when she meets the whirlwind that is Yogi. Irrfan Khan is at his chirpiest here, making Yogi a jovial and carefree person who goes with the flow. Although his backstory isn't as clearly outlined as Jaya's, the actor's ability to make him endearing is how the character grows on her, and us along the way. With these two strong actors at the helm, the film flies through the first half but begins to meander after the interval and doesn't quite regain its initial momentum even towards the end. The story largely revolves around revisiting Yogi's past, and in meeting his exes, we expect to discover what makes him tick. But the screenplay doesn't give us as much clarity as he, and the secondary characters deserve. The latter are introduced and exit the story before their presence makes much of an overall impact. Some scenes could have easily been left on the floor to make a leaner middle act.
This film wouldn't resonate as much with lesser skilled actors, and Tanuja Chandra knows this. She lets Irrfan and Parvathy bring out their nuanced interpretations of the lead pair, which then keeps you amply invested in their stories enough to see them through to the end. Eeshit Narain's cinematography also adds to the film's realism by beautifully capturing the subjects in their natural elements, without resorting to over-dramatic shots. As long as you don't expect fireworks, enjoy this sweet film that will leave you smiling.
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.