Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A slice of life - Band Bajaa Baaraat

I am probably late with this longish note on a fabulous film “Band Bajaa Baaraat”. Or am I?
I have read some of the noted critiques and some other sundry articles that have been generally complimentary about this dazzler of a film. Gosh, I have already stated my increasing affection for this YRF sleeper hit that has struck a chord amongst all that I know.
Is it the honesty of the creative people, Maneesh and Habib, director and writer respectively? Or is it the astounding other Delhi milieu that does away with all flash and cranks out all the oddities of a fellow hard working Delhite we all know? Or is it the slice of life moments that make it for us in the dark Cineplex harking back to our more innocent “just out of college” days of struggle?
Let me recreate some very emphatic moments from the film:
“Plate rakh!” yells Shruti and Bittoo retorts “Nahin rakkhunga ji, kya kar lengi!”. He then goes and brings the poor Videographer whom he knows to vouch for his employment to the uncleji who is the host. The uncleji who has a tough day does not want to create a fuss over anyone that day and allows Bittoo a dinner while Shruti grimly looks on, Bittoo is explaining why he needs to have the dinner then. Superb. Respects.
The flower supplier turns around and says “phool toh yehi lagengey bibi, jo marzi kar lo, issi ke daam diye hain tumharey Chandra madam ne” and we see the innocent bravado of Shruti collapsing under the reality of Chandra Narang’s underhand deals. The collapse leads logically to the next scene where she and Bittoo stand up to the double dealing by Chandra. They take off in their business. Intelligent. Respects.
Silently, the buffoon Bittoo makes the first tea in their office of ‘Shaadi Mubarak’ and it is cool gently reversing gender roles at work. Simple but astounding statement. Respects.
The kissing scene. The BG score peters away. Two tired souls are holding onto each other and their new found success at work. Then, the emotions kick in. They are looking at each other. The silence starts to speak. We, the viewers start to live the moment with them. Then, the kiss, the exploratory kiss that leads to bed. More silence as they ruminate on the road travelled that day. More introspection. A treat. Respects.
Bittoo goes to leave Shruti after their shared night. She is happy, blissful and already dreaming of a future with Bittoo. Bittoo is perturbed as he does not want to disturb a good working equation. He wants to get away fast from her door with the bike. Her father is just leaving for work. Bittoo spots a way out, he rushes on with the bike and offers a lift to Mr. Kakkar who is grossly overweight and cannot sit on the bike with his legs around the bike. So, in a ungainly decision, as Shruti blissfully looks on, he sits “ladies style” and murmurs away through the whole silence between Shruti and Bittoo, completely unaware of their circumstances. Just the next scene, Shruti turns towards her mom and asks about Bittoo and her mom knows in a flash. This combo scene about the whole dynamic in the family is possibly the best scene in the film. Many Respects!!
The wall painter needs to write the name of Bittoo’s fledgling enterprise. Surprise, even Bittoo has not thought of it. His anger has not permitted him to even think logically about his business, an anger born out of love and longing, a feeling that he has ignored just to go by Shruti’s book, Shruti, the mentor, his guide. So, he anchors himself in her company’s name leading to some hilarity and settles happily for the translation of Shaadi Mubarak – Happy Weddings. Admirable scene. Respects.
The confession scene. Bittoo has his simplicity, she admires that. She realizes that it is necessary for her to give in. She speaks of her decision to her suitor over the phone while he is trying to prompt her through some frantic hand waving. She is calm, controlled and keeps looking at him. Then, the shock and awe for Bittoo. He is rooted to the spot. She has to lead him into the embrace. We wait expectantly as he finally does so. It brings a smile to our lips as they kiss.
All is well with this topsy turvy world!
The leads, Anoushka and Ranveer just immerse themselves in what many senior actors may fail at and come out trumps. Ranveer has the impishness of the earlier Salman. But it is the other actors that carry the film on their shoulders to make it a sleeper hit! Mr Kakkar, the Flower supplier, the caterer, the DJ, Bittoo’s friends, Shruti’s mom. All of them are truly classic. They breathe the Delhi that is notably absent in many other Delhi films.
Of course, I remember another forgotten film “Ahista Ahista”!!

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