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A wannabe-Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. It’s one of those simple one-line plots that if told well could be both entertaining and insightful. But, this is neither, mainly because its loud and tries too hard to keep it light.
Almost each one of us who was/is of the "marriageable" age has encountered at least one well-meaning distant relative who thinks we are the most eligible. The one who takes it upon themselves to find you the perfect life-partner. Well, To Baat Pakki is about one such lady, Rajeshwari (Tabu). No, she's not the eligible one, she's the dreaded relative. Her existence seems to revolve around finding the perfect groom for her little sister. There's lots of room for comedy, but only a tinee-winee bit is explored.
The rating of course, clearly that there isn't much to look forward to in To Baat Pakki but the main character, Rajeshwari fascinated me. Of course, she is the standard, ultra-involved, annoying meddler. But, she is still the older sister. So, though it's never too obviously stated, you see a very heavy tinge of gray in her character. She wants for her sister what she could never get. She wants to live vicariously through her. Maybe, that's what most of those distant relatives mean to do using us, and that is exactly what makes them uber-irritating.
And despite this interesting character, who you keep suspecting will turn the tables, the movie is pretty flat. The other characters barely arouse interest. And these were the exact characteristics of a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. Common man, with common aspirations. A non-trivial social issue portrayed in a light manner. But somehow, everything in To Baat Pakki looks like a failed attempt.
Except for a couple of the performances. Tabu must be one of the very few women who can pull of comic timing elegantly. She seems just perfect in the role. Interestingly, though age has taken its toll with the lady and she isn't half as engaging to look at as she used to be, this seems to have worked to the character's advantage.
However, this is very little to carry the film through its entire length. It gets slapsticky in some parts, tardy in others. The light moments once in a while manage a half-smile out of you despite some decent performances.
Other than that, the background music is extremely loud, irrelevant and thus distracting. The song and dance sequences follow the patterns of those followed in the 90s but with some decent camerawork to grab your attention. The songs themselves are…well, I don't remember. So, there you go.
Toh Baat Pakki looks at an intriguing aspect of our social lives. But does it so flatly and yet with general ado, that it's more or less a painful watch. So, skip this one, there will be more Fridays and ensuing weekends that will have a movie worth the time.
- meetu, a part of the audience