Lafangey Parindey - Review
Lafangey Parindey satisfies my urge to see a gripping drama. Deepika Padukone and Neil Nitin Mukesh showcase all the masala, and yet it doesn't become too much for the palate to take. A film jis mein emotion bhi hai d-rrrama bhi hai t-rrragedy bhi hai (a popular dialogue from Sholay which translates to has emotion, drama, tragedy) and comedy and action too - and all in good portions.
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Sincere aplogies. To the writer, director, and actors for being so apprehensive about Lafangey Parindey. I made some promo-based assumptions that were completely off. And boy, am I glad!! It can be argued that I liked the film because my theories were thrown out of the window. What's done is done. I came out of the theater shaking my head in disapproval at the climax but with a generally happy feeling. And that's how the score stands.
Lafangey Parindey is of course, a to-the-core love story. And there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about the one-line plot anyone would use to describe it. The climax is a forgone conclusion. Also like any of the basic seven stories that exist in the world, it’s how the characters get where they are, their ups and downs that matter. Lafangey Parindey engaged and made me care for the protagonists. In fact, even a couple of side characters (Nina and Faizal) got me interested.
Lafangey Parindey is a fairytale with the appropriate dose of villains, witches and simplified-real-life in their own little world. The main characters have shades of grey, which make them a little more interesting than your commonplace Jack and Jill. The villain is not all out bad but he doesn't go all-out soft either.
Each of the characters get what I call, "presence of mind" dialogues - natural, use everyday language, have common-man wit in lieu of filmy-wit. Like some sudden but expected character-transitions are masked under a smart line or two - like a mom who doesn't believe in her daughter's aspirations suddenly calls her daughter phataakaa when she's successful.
Some of the details in the writing give a nice touch to the second layer of the film. With an overt statement that each character has a person to look up to who they aspire to be like, there is a covert line pointing to the fact that none of the "role models" remain the person they used to be. It's disheartening then that the climax is a major let-down. The signs do start showing post-interval, but the nosedive into blah in the last 15-minutes came as a shocker. Or was it their way of catching us off-guard :)? What was with the sudden rush to wrap it up?
Anyway, the characters engage you and that's where the film connects with you. Our hero, Nandu is played by Neil Nitin Mukesh, who could easily have passed off for a 'chocolate boy.' But, the writers recognize that this grown-up audience now needs their filmi heroes to be more than that. So, this once, the Mumbai milieu is chosen to add to Nandu's character and make him more palatable (too-sweet leads to diabetics after). And it sort-of, kind-of works. Neil has a range of expressions, which he does really well - confusion, awe, guilt, when he's keeping a secret, and a few more. Outside of this though, his face is frozen. His body doesn't move much anyways.
Also, this range fits in Nandu's character - he's a hunk from the slums, who uses his muscle for an adrenaline rush and makes some money off that too. He hasn't given his future a thought, but can go from being a boxing fighter to a bar bouncer to what his girlfriend wants him to be, apparently very swiftly. Don't get me wrong, this is not entirely illogical, or out-of -the-blue. It is gradual, and an attempt is made to indicate motivation, albeit not entirely convincing.
Under the 'not entirely convincing' headline will also be a 'Deepika Padukone in the tapori-world. Like I mentioned in the preview, the tight backbone, the long mane, the stance in general give away that she's not really a girl who lives a lousy life. But she makes up for, or let's make that - tries to make up for that with her attitude.
Her character is a strong girl who won't take 'no' for an answer even from the Almighty. Yep! A proper mainstream movie made by an ad-film maker for a leading production house has a beefy role for the lead-lady. She has her entire range of ups and downs too.
I wouldn't have imagined Deepika-Neil as a pair. Somehow, together they look like what aunties at weddings might choose to say about the marrying couple, "He doesn't suit her" or vice versa. But, mainly because of Deepika's performance, they seem connected and you want them to be with each other and live happily ever after.
The side characters are a mix. You have Kay Kay Menon entering and exiting his role as if he owns the place - the hero's self-appointed caretaker (His make-up is also awesome.) And you have the unbelievable heroine's brother with no soul and mind. Also, the second half unnecessarily shows a couple of caricatured characters.
The frames and the way they are edited make Lafangey Parindey look really slick. The music is contemporary and likable. The songs are choreographed with soul and are not the regular 1-2-3 jerks. The action, especially the bike-thrills spell - DO NOT TRY AT HOME. And the story in general is also, "NOT TRIED AT HOME" because the real world doesn't work this way. But along with the laugh-out-loud moments there is a warm, very human story inside.
So, then just like it might be considered non-conforming to dislike the new wave cinema will it be considered out-of-fashion to like Lafangey Parindey for what it is?
Ps. is it a criminal offence to have a hero wearing sunglasses that are not RayBan? #JustAsking
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Lots of boxing fights with a reasonably gory display of blood. A gun fight and a few slaps too.
- Language: Clean albeit the Bambaiyya kind.
- Nudity & Sexual content: One liplock.
- Concept: That of guilt and love.
- General Look and Feel: It's not overly bright and not dull or boring either. Interspersed at regular intervals with action and songs.
Lafangey Parindey - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website
- Banner: Yash Raj Films
- Producer: Aditya Chopra
- Director: Pradeep Sarkar
- Lead Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Deepika Padukone, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Deepika Padukone
- Supporting Cast: Piyush Mishra, Manish Chaudhari, Viraj Adhav, Namit Das, Vinay Sharma, Palomi, Amey Pandya, Piyush Mishra, Manish Chaudhari, Viraj Adhav, Namit Das, Vinay Sharma, Palomi, Amey Pandya
- Story: Gopi Puthran
- Screenplay: Gopi Puthran
- Cinematography: N Natarajan Subramanium
- Editor: Sanjib Datta
- Background Score: Zubin Balaporia
- Action Choreography: Sham Kaushal
- Choreography: Bosco, Caesar Gonsalves, Sandro Guerra
- Music Director: R Anandh
- Lyrics: Swananda Kirkire
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Genres: Action, Romance