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Do Aur Do Pyaar,A  Flawless Take On Modern Relationships



Rating: **** ½

Set aside  half a star extra for Vidya Balan’s sterling performance.  That apart, Do Aur Do Pyaar is  a far superior  work to almost very film you’ve seen this year. It is breezy and lighthearted, but never frivolous.  Director Shirsha Guha  Thakurta  dives deep into a marriage in  crisis. Miraculously she  finds  a lot of laughter and  humour  in  the  crisis. This in no way,trivializes the marital conundrum.

 The  writing  is clearly  the  star  of  the  show. When you add  an actor of Vidya Balan’s calibre to what’s from the outset, a screenplay  woven from the threads of  real life, the endresult is  bound to be something special.

 That, Do Aur Do Pyaar (why the bland title for such a grand  film?) is. It is a film that  goes the distance  looking for why a marriage  as institution  will survive all the cynicism that has enveloped  it.

When  we  see the film’s core couple Anniruddh, a Bengali and Kavya, a Tamil in  happy relationships  outside their marriage. We are not shocked. This is not  improbable. Such things  do happen in urban marriages .Even while, like Kavya  and Anni,  couples remain committed to keeping their marriage alive, they also remain in extra-marital relationships to keep their own spirits  alive .

Adding  a spark to the saucy idea are the lead pair. Both Pratik Gandhi and Vidya Balan are  indescribably convincing and engaging. They are furiously funny and heartbreakingly tragic  in their determination to stay true to their marriage vows while giving their sexual appetites a  bit of  mischievous leeway.

 I am not suggesting Kavya and Anni are in extra-marital relationships for  the sex only. The sex between  them is just fine. It’s just that they are not having it any more.And when they do, they begin to feel there is no need to go outside the marriage. Not for sex anyway.

The trouble , and the fun, in the double triangle creeps in at this crucial point.The writing(Suprotim Sengupta,Amrita Bagchi,Eisha Chopra) is largely spot-on. But sometimes the quips  flow a  bit too fast, just like that tube of toothpaste  which Kavya and her NRI lover Vikram(Sendhil Ramamurthy,charming)  compare  to marriages at  the  beginning of  the  film.

 Vidya Balan is  a force of  Nature. Her performance as a wife who can’t seem to follow her heart , is  so warm and lived-in, it feels like real life.And yes, Vidya is  the only actress I’ve seen since Kate Winslet in  Mare Of Easttown  who actually EATS  the  food that she is  supposed to instead  of pretending to do so.

Food, especially chicken nuggets and brinjals, are  important to the  film.At one point, Annirudh wonders if it’s permissible for a vegan to have chicken after sex.I am not sure what that means, but the line made me laugh. Not so the endless sleazy puns that emanate from Annirudh working in a ‘cork’ factory.

Vidya’s chemistry with Pratik Gandhi is bang-on. Their  performance to the 1991 song Bin tere sanam mar mitenge hum(originally in the film Yaara Dildaara) is priceless.  For that alone, I declare Vidya-Pratik the couple of the leer.

 Do Aur Do Pyaar is the official remake  of   Azazel Jacobs’  2017 French  romcom Lovers.  But  the remake, if  we may call  it that, moves  far away from its source material. There is  a whole chunk of narrative , not in the French film, where  Annirudh and Kavya visit her home in  Ooty after her grandfather’s death(and end up almost having sex  next to the body).The friction  between Kavya and her  father(Thalaivasal Vijay)  about  she being a dentist in a  family of doctors(rolling of the  eyes) ,is  done with a devilish  delight in the way  people who love one another  grab for one  another’s jugular.

  Here is a  rom-com which is  funny and puckish, tender and savage . I really can’t find any  flaws in this one.

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