Rajeev Masand

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Masand’s verdict: Pyaar Ke Side Effects

Rajeev Masand Reviews

  Cast: Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Ranvir Shorey

Direction: Saket Chaudhary

It’s a marry go round at the movies this week as Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat come together in debutant director Saket Choudhary’s Pyaar Ke Side Effects.

Dilli ki kudi Mallika Sherawat runs away on her wedding day when she figures out she doesn’t love the guy she’s about to marry.

She begins dating Mumbai DJ Rahul Bose and the two spend three years of happy time before she finally brings up the M word. Problem is, Rahul doesn’t think he’s ready, but goes along with it anyway.

In fact, poor fellow goes along with everything — picking up the engagement ring, shopping for their new home, meeting her parents, you know the drill.

But when you’re heart’s not in it, it’s going to show. So when it dawns on both of them that this isn’t meant to be, they decide to go their own separate ways.

Eventually, of course, they discover that they love each other immensely and are meant to be together after all.

The plot of Pyaar Ke Side Effects isn’t original at all, but it’s the screenplay that moves splendidly in the first half, giving you enough reason to smile till your jaws hurt.

But post-intermission the film spirals into predictability and sheer dullness, leaving you with a feeling of disappointment over potential wasted.

The film’s often gimmicky and sometimes schmaltzy, and believe me those are not the only problems with the film.

But it’s in creating a set of believable characters that the film’s director actually pulls off the film’s biggest coup.

From Rahul’s hilarious roommate determined to get over his own break-up by finding love in the arms of complete strangers, to his wiser older sister who has the right answer to her brother’s every problem — every other character is a winner.

If Pyaar Ke Side Effects loses its grip midway and fails to keep you entertained till the end, it’s mainly because there’s a shift in the tone of the film, which slackens its pace considerably.
It goes from romantic comedy to predictable drama and therein lies its biggest flaw.

The scenes involving Mallika’s dad trying to get Rahul out of her life seem highly exaggerated, as do those cliched portions between Rahul and the red-hot item girl he begins dating after his break-up with Mallika.

And if those weren’t bad enough, then the final straw comes in the form of that suggestion towards the end that perhaps he has commitment phobia because his dad had walked out on his mother years ago.

Really Mr Director, you could have done better than that? Did he really need a backstory?

Of the film’s cast, Rahul Bose has what is clearly the tougher part as he must not only go through his character arc in the context of the story, but also talk directly to the camera and anchor the film so to speak.

Now he plays his part competently, but addressing the audience directly can prove to be a tricky task and Rahul tends to overdo it a little. But, surprising you with a performance that is understated and very much in keeping with her character, is Mallika Sherawat.

If you’re expecting another bombshell kind of role, prepare to be surprised. Perhaps for the first time since Murder, Mallika makes you sit up and notice that the girl can act.

But if there’s an actor in this film that steals the show then it’s Ranvir Shorey playing Rahul’s best friend and roommate.

Ranvir dazzles with his comic timing, and your only complaint here is that he should have had more scenes.

So in the end, Pyaar Ke Side Effects may not be great cinema that you’ll talk about twenty years from now. But it’s not a movie that you’ll completely regret going into either.

It’s occasionally hip and often very clever. But the sad part is that it could have been so much more! Then that’s an average rating for director Saket Chaudhary’s Pyaar Ke Side Effects.

Let’s just say it’s a decent Sunday watch, don’t go in expecting too much, and you won’t be terribly disappointed.

Rating: 2 / 5 (Average)

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