Movie review: Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi

Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi poster

Cast: Boman Irani, Farah Khan

Direction: Bela Bhansali Sehgal

Rating: 

Size does matter. More so when you are pushing the small-budget love story of a 45-year-old hero and a 40-something heroine who aren’t exactly six-pack and size zero. In a film that sets out to twist the Bollywood rom-com, the heroine’s cup size does matter. It plays an important role in setting off the box-office friendly laughs.

Conveniently, the hero is a lingerie salesman. Farhad Pastakiya (Boman), 45-year-old Parsi nice guy, who makes a living selling bras and panties, could otherwise be imagined as the hero/heroine’s mama/chacha/affable neighbour in your regular Hindi flick but here he is playing the lead star. Debutante director Bela Bhansali Sehgal imagines an unusual heroine, too. Farah Khan in her acting debut enters Farhad’s mindspace as Shirin Fugawala, Size 36B (he is an expert at ‘sizing up’ women since that’s the only job he has known). The film gets going with their romance.

It’s a quirky twist to the much-abused Bollywood rom-com movie actually. Taking away the filmy lovers from the stereotypes of cool campuses and exotic locales, the film imagines a tale of middle-aged mush in middle-class Mumbai.

Despite the odd-couple novelty, the film’s storyline very much sticks to norms. The deal you get is simple: hero and heroine fall in love, there is family objection, and the lovers must try and unite against all odds.

So Farhad, whose only real interaction with women is limited to his bossy mother (Daisy Irani) and grandmother (Shammi), must deal with an obvious problem. The strongwilled Shirin starts affecting his life. Worse, his mother cannot stand Shirin and isn’t ready to accept her.

The romance of an aging couple isn’t exactly new in Bollywood. The Rishi Kapoor-Dimple Kapadia dud Pyaar Mein Twist comes to mind, as also the Dharmendra-Nafisa Ali track in Life In A Metro. What Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi does is serve the formula without taking itself too seriously and without letting things ever get too heavy.

If Bela cleverly retains all rom-com basics, there are also the indulgent winks at genre cliches – typified best in a peppy song that spoofs DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Hum Aapke Hain Koun. The forty-something romance is not said stuff either, what with the naughty lingerie jokes coming in.

Despite narrating a fairly predictable tale of love, the film works for the brilliant moments that the script provides. Bela’s brother Sanjay Leela Bhansali, incidentally also the producer of this film, has penned quite a few scene stealers for the lead couple. Boman and Farah score full marks with chemistry.

It’s a crazy ride guaranteed to leave you grinning as you leave the cinema. That makes it worth a watch.

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