De De Pyaar De

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

quick review:

Pleasantly surprises you with a show of insight, though ultimately ends too conveniently. And one male character calling another one a misogynist is not enough to absolve the writers from other misogynist writing. In the same film! (Not the writer’s other films)

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Director: Akiv Ali
Running time: 135 minutes
More Movie Info

De De Pyaar De’s opening sequence is one of the most cringe-inducing scenes at various levels—objectification, lack of insight about relationships, the pretence of being cool, to name a few. Which is why the relative depth of dialogue in the next hour comes as a pleasant surprise. Sure, you know a Luv Ranjan story has the potential to fall irredeemably low at any point, and you are waiting for it. And while this one doesn’t fall, it leaves some compensatory bits along its trail.

A one-liner here and a half-speech there resolve all problems of the world.

A man and a woman with an age gap of 25 years are attracted to each other. After the horrible opening sequence, I was biding time until I felt like walking out of the theatre. That the film grew on me line-by-line and made me think that something special might be in store was actually thrilling.

The relationship between Ashish (Ajay Devgn) and Aisha (Rakul Preet) is refreshingly mature. It feels like two sensible people are talking about and thinking about their relationship while they are having fun too. The chemistry between the actors is a nice mix too, a kind that would exist between a person who is quiet and mature, and one who is fresh and growing as a person. This is fresh because it is rare in films, let alone Hindi films. The usual gloss is replaced with some good-natured banter.

Even as the film unfolds into a completely different space visually and thematically, it retains some bits of that refreshing air. There are strikingly mature conversations about live-in relationships, divorce and even a one about a woman finding support and relief from having sex.

But a lot of it gets messy as would be expected when a man wants to introduce his girlfriend to his ex-wife, and kids who are about the girlfriend’s age. Over and above this predictable mess though, the mature conversations mentioned earlier are defeated by ridiculously convenient resolutions. A one-liner here and a half-speech there resolve all problems of the world. I was not looking at being convinced, just maintaining the tone created by the first half would have been enough.

Anyway, while the chemistry between Devgn and Rakul doesn’t have much room to blossom in the second half, they hold their own as annoyingly silent and silently fuming people. The second half belongs to Tabu. Even though the film drew me in, it didn’t grab my emotions as Tabu did in this one scene that is well worth watching the movie for. Jimmy Shergill as the “other” man, is as amusing as always. The rest of the cast is actually irritating, except Kumud Mishra. And Alok Nath invites extra fumes every time he is on the screen, even in the background.

Alok Nath’s presence in the film is sort of an indicator of where the writers’ hearts lie too—on the man’s side. The helpless man who had to cheat in his relationship because a woman needed saving resonates with the theme set in the beginning—of the helpless man who cannot say no to a lap dance by a stripper. Of course, the women have to stand up for their man. And it is a Luv Ranjan script, so of course, there is a monologue. Only this time, it is a woman defending her man’s “helplessness” which is of course supposed to be read as every man’s helplessness. Ugh.

It feels like two sensible people are talking about and thinking about their relationship while they are having fun too.

One could yet call this a step in the right direction for the writer. Such is the trajectory.

- meeta, a part of the audience

38 reviewers(?) - 12 yays 12 so-so 14 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...The performances are interesting as long as the actors are not saddled with underwritten roles, like Jimmy Sheirgill is. For once his struggle to make his character credible fails. Kumud Mishra, another actor we can always depend on, is also left trying to find a centre to his sketchy character. But Sunny Singh as a silly suitor is brilliant in a cameo. Just goes to show it’s not the size that matters.... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, DE DE PYAAR DE is a paisa vasool entertainer with plenty of laugh aloud moments and strong emotions as its USP. At the box office, the film has the potential to work big time basis a strong word of mouth. Recommended!... full review

Thumbs up, by Aakanksha Navals, cineblitz : ...If you have loved Luv Ranjan’s previous comedies, this one won’t disappoint. In fact, it carries his unmistakable stamp even if directed by Akiv Ali. Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet Singh and Tabu’s romcom is sweet, spicy and hilarious. A fun entertainer, this one is total paisa vasool and the situational comedy will leave you in splits. The film certainly makes for a fun watch!... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...It’s an enjoyable family watch; the frailties in human relationships are nicely captured.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...DE DE PYAAR DE in the first impression seems to be taking the traditional rom com route with ‘age’ as a twist but after a while it politely argues. Its better in its argument, that is funny, straight, weightier. It talks about understanding of love with a degree of maturity, wit, humor with a nod for acceptance and backed by top notch performance.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...‘DDPD’ may not make you wiser in love, but it’s a clear indication that loving or losing someone is one gloriously complicated and messy affair. So, take a plunge with ‘DDPD’ that doesn’t scar you in any way.... full review

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Do not miss this oasis in the long desert we have seen in Hindi cinema since “Kesari” and “The Tashkent Files,” which were both serious and true-life stories. It has come at the perfect time, just as Devgn’s last film “Total Dhamaal” came when a light film was needed in the wake of “URI: The Surgical Strikes” and “Gully Boy.” But then, “Total Dhamaal” was a hilarious caper. This light movie speaks a lot out to society through its peppy, fast-paced (134 minutes) of entertainment.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, De De Pyaar De is an entertaining affair. Clever writing will make you laugh, and it comes with a novelty value which shines throughout. Solid performances, picturesque screenplay and a tremendous Tabu – there are many pluses in its favour.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...The film’s deceptive title may throw many off. But the messa... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...The film as a whole entertains a lot as well. It has emotions to offer in addition to the light hearted moments that would aid in bringing mature audiences as well in addition to the youth. As for some of the points that it makes in the second half, they may be debatable but certainly can’t be ignored.... full review

Thumbs up, by Troy Ribeiro, Sify Movies : ...Overall, with entertainment and romance, thrown in with equal measure, De De Pyaar De is an enjoyable film that is endearing.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...The film maturely handles a few touchy topics like divorce, live-ins and age-inappropriate romance, without getting too overbearing. Thankfully, director Akiv Ali wraps it up with a slightly unpredictable climax minus the melodrama. Overall, DDPD is a fun ride that reinstates the fact that when it comes to love, age is just a number.... full review

So-So, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...A quirky plot, some killer dialogues and Ajay and Tabu's chemistry make it a decent one time watch. If you can ignore the problematic areas, the film is one time Paisa vasool.... full review

So-So, by Mayur Sanap, Deccan Chronicle : ...At the end, if you take this film for what it is, you'll probably enjoy it, which is - frivolous fun; but with this caliber of the cast, it's a little disappointment.... full review

So-So, by Rahul Ganawani, Filmfare : ...A film of this genre warrants great music Alas! De De Pyaar De’s music album falls short in that department. Chale Aana by Amaal Malik is the only song you take home with you. Overall, the film could be a weekend time pass option for you in case you have no better plans.... full review

So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Despite being an editor himself, Akiv Ali falters a bit on the editing table. The cinematography of the film is top-notch. On the musical side, barring Vaddi Sharaban and Chale Aana, none of the other tracks leave a lasting impression.... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Javed Jaffrey as the Psychotherapist dishing out friendly professional advice to the ageing Romeo does well to bring on a few laughs. While Ajay nurtures his glazed intensity throughout, Rakul tries hard to be effervescent but her performance feels put on. The songs are irritating, the humour is missing, the dialogues sound ridiculous and the narrative doesn’t attempt anything deeper than the obvious and perfunctory. This is clearly an immature, implausible attempt at a mature love story let loose within a not-so-modern family!... full review

So-So, by Punarvasu Pendse, fullhyd.com : ...De De Pyaar De gets uncomfortably caught trying to sprinkle in some traditional, moralistic values in a film that is outwardly very "modern". Despite the polish and the production value, this is in essence a movie that is reminiscent of older, tackier, turn-of-the-century comedies that were more problematic than entertaining.... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...She riffs joyfully with reliable actors Kumud Mishra and Jimmy Sheirgill, and her tender chemistry with Devgn is wonderful. Ashish and Manju met in college and married soon after, and this fits these actors we know well: Ali didn’t need to actually spell it out with a strain of music from Vijaypath. As shown by Devgn’s performance in this film, a bit of restraint goes a long way.... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...You wish the film had been braver in its intention of creating a really cracking rom-com, instead of playing its clichés for a laugh. At his best, dialogue writer Luv Ranjan has the ability to pull off the difficult task of making actors sound like real people when they are in stormy, messy relationships, and those are the moments in which De De Pyaar De does best. Pity it didn’t have more of those.... full review

So-So, by Gayatri Nirmal, MiD DAY : ...Misses: At times, the makers failed to register whether they are portraying a serious scene or a comic one. The film has a lot of emotions at times mixed in every frame. Some shots were not needed as they failed to establish its essence of being there, courtesy - film's editing.... full review

So-So, by Pankhurie Mulasi, Movie Talkies : ...It’s an entertaining fare, which makes you laugh, however, there are a few scenes which can make you a little awkward if you are planning to watch it with your family. The screenplay is punctuated with a lot of songs, which could have been easily done away with. Cinematography and locations are also nice. Story is not extraordinary but it’s a fun film.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...Ultimately, watching De De Pyaar De is a frustrating experience because while there are things to admire, including the unconventional ending, there is no escape from the lazy stereotypes, the simplistic moralizing, and the episodic, sitcom-style screenplay. Yes I laughed, and it made me think. Some bits crackle too, but the film needed more of that. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five.... full review

So-So, by Gaurang Chauhan, Times Now : ...Overall, De De Pyaar De is filled with many laugh out loud moments. The movie is uneven but fun, messy but entertaining thanks to the dialogues, Akiv Ali's direction and the talented cast of Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh. Watch it.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...De De Pyaar De tries to be bold and cool, turns out to be mildly funny and mostly exasperating; but, what the heck, who is looking for depth in what is clearly a date movie? The three lead actors—Tabu in particular—are terrific. It would take real guts for a filmmaker to take this story 20 years forward, when the woman is 46 and the man 70! Try making the audience laugh then!... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...A few scenes later, we see Manju breaking down in his arms, demanding to know why she always had to be the responsible one. The single one. Or, in other words: Why are heroines the ones that have to act their age? Why does she have to look for edgy solo starrers while he can continue doing love stories? The answer, of course, is pasted on the walls of her son’s bedroom. It’s the name of his favourite football team: “Man” United. Props to the production designers for weaving the essence of Bollywood into the details.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...So yeah, Alok Nath is in a film about male victimhood, fronted by personages no less than Tabu and Ajay Devgn. In your face, women!... full review

Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Sandwiched between the two leading ladies, Devgn struggles to make his presence felt. Superfluous songs, almost all alike, needlessly drag this film. Shorter run time and a quicker Tabu entry, and this film could have earned some pyaar.... full review

Thumbs down, by Charu Thakur, india today : ...De De Pyaar De is a bag full of cliches. The makers fail miserably to evolve the story beyond a one-line plot. Go watch De De Pyaar De only if you are a die-hard fan of Tabu.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anita Iyer, Khaleej Times : ...A known film editor for over a decade, Akiv does a fabulous job of putting together a trailer that made the film seem promising, but the full-length movie lacks substance. The few comic punches we see in the film are the ones we have already seen in the two-minute trailer.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...All stories, one can argue, starts with the fundamental question: 'What if?' The underlying theme or starting point here appears to be: 'What if a 50-year-old man, having consensually separated from his wife, briefly returns home, among his kids, and father and mother, etc?' Frankly, didn't know that's how this 'old man and the khichdi' was meant to flow. Well, now you do. Even if I did: 'What if I didn't care?' Certainly didn't... full review

Thumbs down, by Piyush Chopra, Now Running.com : ...Luv Ranjan even brings with him his full artillery of cheap comedic sounds effects stolen from childhood cartoons and a background score that tries to imitate itself with lesser and lesser success as the film goes on, caught in a loop of mediocre hook tunes that are aimed at propping up limp punchlines. And dead-brained punchlines are in plenty, mouthed every few seconds by one extremely overbearing character after another, snarking like a Punjabi Tony Stark with a tone-deaf sense of humor.... full review

Thumbs down, by Giridhar Jha, Outlook India : ...De de Pyaar Dei s not devoid of regressive element when it comes to objectifying women or peddling misogynistic stereotypes in the grab of a laugh riot in this film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Here, everybody gives a few speeches and the complexities of such arrangements are conveniently resolved, forgotten or slipped under the carpet.... full review

Thumbs down, by SHILPA JAMKHANDIKAR, Reuters : ...Tabu is the only breath of fresh air here; she is unaffected and natural as can be. It is only when she is on screen that the film is infused with life. If the story were told from her perspective instead of that of the rather self-centered Ashish, we’d have a better film on our hands.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...De De Pyaar De’s biggest achievement is that it might actually compel filmmakers to ask whether their leads are appropriately matched wrinkle for wrinkle rather than forcing chronological acrobatics on viewers. The next time you see Ajay Devgn making eyes as a woman far younger than him, you have every right to be sceptical.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kennith Rosario, The Hindu : ...If you look beyond the film’s messaging and twisted sexual politics, its aesthetics is meant for television viewing. Constant close-ups, sitcom-y film score and blurred background shots of London make you feel trapped, with very little movement happening. The film’s craft adds to its staleness and anachronistic feel. As much as the film wants to be an iconoclast, it reinstates the same conservatism it pretends to take down.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘De De Pyaar De’ is based on a well-intentioned idea, but the director fails in its execution. Hence, what could have been a heartfelt expression of modern-day relationship complications, turns out to be a tedious, confusing over-two-hour-long watch.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Lots of beeping, especially in the beginning
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A stripper at a bachelor party, sex is implied and talked about, one lip to lip, skimpily clad women and bare-chested Ajay Devgn.
  • Concept: Lots of stuff about relationships like an age gap, divorce, separation, extra marital affairs, live-in relationships, etc
  • General Look and Feel: A light atmosphere around some serious relationship issues

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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