wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
A mature romance where people are not really trying to change each other. Keeps the smile on too. But, the pace is almost soporific and has potential to disconnect you from the story.Read more
- meeta, a part of the audience
Not all stories are meant to get you totally involved with the characters or situations. Some are just stories that you listen to or see. Qarib Qarib Singlle is one such story – of a man and a woman who set out on a journey to get to know each other under the guise of meeting the man’s ex-es. Neither of the characters are entirely believable, nor is the situation they put themselves in, common place in real life. But, you play along because of the humor and the film’s warm texture. The warmth, however, makes the film a little too cozy slacking off into a snooze every once in a while.
Unfortunately the first time most of us would have seen and laughed at them is in the trailer.
The beauty of Qarib Qarib Singlle is that you know the characters quite well. You know Jaya (Parvathy Thiruvothu) is comfortable with being single because she has no qualms watching films in a theater by herself, or cooking and having a drink by herself. At the risk of stereotyping she is the kind of person who does web development as a hobby. And Yogi is the one who can doze off into deep slumber at the mention of ‘w’ in ‘web development’. He laughs at his own poor puns. He regularly misses trains and planes. And all of this seems normal to us. For she like many of us will carry a sanitizer on them and still be happy living in a no-star ashram. And he earns enough to afford and prefers the comforts of a 5-star hotel, but at the same time stops his cab midway to pick up villagers who are walking barefoot on the roadside under the scorching sun.
Having developed such beautiful characters, the writers stay away from making them come-of-age which is remarkable. This gives room to these aging characters to be mature. They are both have an opinion and judge the other. Yet neither of them seeks to change the other either. The lively, quirky, more interesting one doesn’t want to introduce the quieter, conventionally boring person into the colours of life. Both lead characters have the gentlest of arches because they are both very comfortable with who they are. Which is why Jaya’s sense of liberation seems hollow when she breaks the mould.
Also, given these characters that Yogi falls for Jaya is a little unconvincing. You can see Jaya slowly getting attracted towards this character, but that Yogi wants to have a long-term relationship with Jaya is to be taken for granted.
This could have a bit to do with Parvathy Thiruvothu’s act too, especially her dubbing. It is not that she doesn’t try hard to give a good performance, it is that the effort show. The heaving and sighing are a bit too loud giving this otherwise self-assured lady an air of always being anxious and hyper. Irrfan Khan of course wears his dead-pan look with elan. There was a time a couple of years ago when I was worried that I would be borer of this act. But, doesn’t look like it is happening any time soon, for with every film he makes me like/hate his character even better.
While the characters and dialogue are done reasonably well, the overall story progresses very slowly. This is understandable considering the characters aren’t making any huge transformations. But, it makes things lacklustre at regular intervals.
Parvathy breaking the 4th wall or river-rafting or an additional character in the for of the cab driver seem as mere tools to break the rhythm slightly. It doesn’t help that you have seen this formula of meeting the ex-es in Bachna Ae Haseeno. Even so, I am thankful that the film is kept fresh by keeping the gloss and glamour out.
The aging lead characters get room to be mature because there is no pressure to come-of-age.
The quippy lines and funny situations are new when you see them for the first time and they bring a smile too. But, unfortunately the first time most of us would have seen and laughed at them is in the trailer. So, while Irrfan Khan’s performance can hold you through the film. The real-life like, dullish treatment works both for and against the film. The glitz is out but that ends up making things boring. Qarib Qarib Singlle doesn’t get the balance right.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Overall, Qarib Qarib Singlle is funny and vibrant with not a dull moment except for one or two. Watch it for a clean old school romance. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...The best moments of Qarib Qarib Singlle are the most understated and sublime ones. There are no ‘jeene marne ki qasamein’ no drama, just a casual, simple and very refreshing romance that says a lot without much effort. With solid writing and great performances, a perfect ambience of Tinder-driven modern courtship this is definitely one of the best films of director Tanuja Chandra's career. A light but spectacularly adroit romantic comedy.... full review
Thumbs up, Free Press Journal : ...The film is a gloriously joyous journey into the heart and the heartland. It is refreshing to come across a film where the protagonists sound neither over-rehearsed nor strenuously casual. The conversations are real. Mercifully, when these protagonists talk or sing they are not afraid to make mistakes. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times : ...Malayalam actress Parvathy, who makes her Bollywood debut with the film, is the perfect choice for the paradoxical role of the under-confident but self-dependant woman who fights a lonely battle with the ghosts from her past and eventually emerges the winner.... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...Qarib Qarib Singlle is one of those films which lingers in your soul way after you leave the cinema hall. One of those films which you won’t mind watching again back to back on the same day. This is a pure desi version of Imtiaz Ali’s love stories. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...This is the sort of script that world champions of the desi rom-com genre would've taken to an altogether level. To be fair, director Tanuja Chandra (in fine form) makes it more than a 'qarib qarib' lovely, and surely worth your while in the theatre.... full review
Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...For those who may feel inspired to find love on the internet following this watch, be warned. Not all Yogis are accidental millionaires (like the one here), some are occupational molesters too. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The unhurried rhythm of Qarib Qarib Singlle might put off average filmgoers but if you see value in a film that breaks away from norm and derives strength from understatement rather than flashy storytelling methods, your search ends here. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...Parvathy in the meanwhile has gone to meet her ex, played by Luke Kenny (we are totally disconnected to these two, because there seems to be nothing there really). Parvathy's strident yelling seems a tad illogical, because she hasn't really contributed much to the connect Irrfan seems to have with her. But as I said, this film is Qarib Qarib Perfect. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...In this battleground, the manoeuvres are entirely of the verbal kind, and often very funny. Tanuja Chandra has a good technical team to keep the story from veering off entirely from course, especially in the flabby third act. Eeshit Narain’s pleasing cinematography and Chandan Arora’s editing produce a fabulous last shot – the final vehicle carrying Jaya and Yogi heading inexorably towards its destination, indicating both closure as well as a new beginning. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Neil Soans, Times of India : ...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. ... full review
So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, QARIB QARIB SINGLLE is a feel good love story cum road trip film. Despite low buzz and not much of a mass appeal, the film leaves a smile on your face and has the potential for young and urban audiences. ... full review
So-So, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...Though Irrfan Khan’s acting now is made up of predictable but winsome mannerism — especially when he’s playing voluble characters — his ability to slip in a mumbled aside/comment/insult under the table, only for our benefit, always win us over. Always. ... full review
So-So, by Dev Raj Gulati, Desi Martini : ...All the three background tracks composed by three musicians and penned by three lyricists don't add to the narrative. At best QQS could appeal the discerning viewer .It's box office appeal could be low because it's not a family view.... full review
So-So, by Madan Mohan Marwah, Desi Martini : ...Acting wise Irrfan sails through the film with his effortless performance. He could have made things outstanding with better dialogue. Parvathy acts well as the hyperactive, confused and harassed lady obsessed with self doubt while falling in line with Irrfan all the time helplessly.... full review
So-So, by Rahul Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...Tanuja Chandra keeps conversations real and witty. The plot is developed with a casual string of events approach and till interval in fact you find the movie engaging enough. The tanking of everything happens after that where the screenplay takes a spectacular nosedive and the climax is tad abrupt that it has similarity to one of the recent sleeper hit love story is something which audiences will fail to notice. You can still give this one a try. But trust me should you miss it you are not really missing a classic.... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The writing, while not meaty, manages to be light and effective-giving both characters free rein to let loose whenever required. And Surprisingly it works. This may not be a great film but it’s a highly entertaining one! ... full review
So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...A romantic comedy is also as successful as the spark between the two lead players, but there’s not sufficient fizz to keep this romance alive. While their verbal duelling is fun to watch... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gauri, khaleejtimes : ...'Qarib Qarib Singlle' is not a mindblowing film; it is not conventional Bollywood. But if you like to see films that talk about issues people can relate to, about stories that do not tire you with their inanity, this is worth a look. If not anything, you are assured of some hearty laughter thanks to Irrfan.... full review
So-So, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...As the credits rolled I realised this is probably the last we’ll see of Jaya and Yogi. Pity. It’s not just flawless films that have fascinating characters.... full review
So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...In conclusion, watch this film only if you are a die-hard Irrfan fan. The film has many unanswered questions like the one mentioned above and you walk out with a feeling of incompleteness. To be very honest, the film is worth a watch only because of Irrfan, without whom, the narrative may have fallen flat on its face. ... full review
So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...There are some moments of love and laughter, but the lead cast lacks the chemistry or the instant connection that is a prerequisite in any successful cinematic love story. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...In movies like Qarib Qarib Singlle, we don’t even get that sort of pleasure, only a deadness that never goes away. If you happen to like this film, I have to assume there’s something seriously wrong with your idea of a journey.... full review
smileyalee29: Watched Qarib Qarib Singlle And all I can say is , I AM IN LOVE
siddsa: Qarib Qarib Singlle, a fine movie. Great acting by @irrfank and #parvathy. #SundayMorning #Movie
shadez: Qarib Qarib Singlle is a whimsical, light-hearted movie! Quite a bit of rib tickling situations. @QQSTheFilm
rahul_balyan: ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ rocks...
pseudosoc1al: Go watch Qarib Qarib Singlle. A bit stretched and half baked ending . But the lead pair chemistry is great. And funny in a lot of places.
MJ_mughal: Watched "Qarib Qarib singlle" awesome another stuff by Irfan khan, very natural acting
IshabaHaquee: ok officially obsessed with @irrfank. qarib qarib singlle was excellent
gaurmanish1: You need to delete certain passwords for life to move on. Qarib Qarib Singlle.. a strong recommendation.
DevikaKher: Do yourself a favour and go watch Qarib Qarib Singlle. Don't consider, just go.
deepikasbae: Everybody go watch Qarib Qarib Singlle. Even if you're single AF as me.
madhulata: Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017): Bollywood non-mainstream love story. Wake me up when it's over.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.