It’s hard to imagine what life was before Priyadarshan’s comedies because they have become such an integral part of Indian cinema today. Mere Baap Pehle Aap is another addition to the genius maker’s list of classics. This time the maker tackles family dynamics in his classic style but with a twist.
Gaurav (Akshaye Khanna) and his Baapu (Paresh Rawal) are inseparable. Since the death of Gaurav’s mother his father has dedicated his whole life to bringing him up and his brother (Manoj Joshi). Gaurav and his Baapu’s relationship is no ordinary father-son relationship. Gaurav, who never had a mother to care for him, doesn’t feel her absence in his life thanks to his Baapu. And his Baapu, who never had a wife to scold him or set him right, never feels her absence in his life either thanks to Gaurav. At times it’s hard to distinguish between who the son is and who the father is.
Then Shikha (Genelia D’Souza) comes into their lives. She is an old college friend of Gaurav’s who just returned from America. It doesn’t take long for Shikha to become a part of the family. Baapu soon starts dreaming of a happy married life for Gaurav with Shikha but neither of the two agree on giving their friendship another name. Well at least Shikha doesn’t.
Suddenly, Gaurav notices a change in his Baapu: black hair, shaven face and stylised outfits. Now that’s no average Baapu. What was the reason behind this change? The rest of MBPA is how Shikha and Gaurav unveil Baapu’s hidden secret and open a very old can of worms.
The way in which Priyadarshan tackles family dynamics is like no other director. He makes the relationships so realistic, so believable and so beautiful. He did it with Hulchul, with Chup Chup Ke and again with Mere Baap Phele Aap. The maker has a magic touch when it comes to this genre.
Mere Baap Pehle Aap is flawless in every aspect but one. The title and the promotion were very misleading. Both made it seem that the movie is about a son trying to marry off his father. However, that is only one third of the story. The movie goes in stages and flows beautifully from one to the next. The first segment is dedicated to Gaurav and his father’s relationship. Then comes Shikha followed by her and Gaurav’s friendship that Baapu wants to change. After that comes the suspense of Baapu’s secret, the matchmaking journey and a fight against society. The transition is rather smooth, but when the title is based on just one of these segments the audiences tend to think the movie is dragging out when in fact the story is perfectly flawless. In addition, if there is one maker who can beautifully intertwine these different genres in one movie then that is Priyadarshan.
As expected Priyadarshan’s comedies are not just brilliantly crafted but also flawlessly performed. Akshaye Khanna yet again proves his versatility. The only problem with his performance is his styling which technically has no relation to his acting but does have an effect on the character he’s portraying. Genelia D’Souza is beyond brilliant. The actress makes a comeback into Bollywood and this time it looks like she’s not leaving until she’s noticed. If she continues to deliver such knock-out performances she won’t have to wait long. The actress is a complete natural throughout and gets a large amount of scope. In addition to that, her comic timing is highly commendable. Paresh Rawal, needless to say, impresses yet again. Shobhana, despite playing such an important character, gets no scope. Om Puri is a waste and a nuisance for most of the portions.
Special mention needs to be made to the breathtaking picturization of ‘Jaana Hai Tujko’. Once again Priyadarshan proves that he doesn’t need overseas locations to make his movies appear beautiful on celluloid. Sets and costumes for Genelia in ‘Ishq Subhan Allah’ are also very impressive.
To sum up the experience of Mere Baap Phele Aap would take another two paragraphs. So in short, just go and enjoy the movie. It is a 100% entertainer and can be enjoyed with the whole family. We assure you it’s a worthwhile watch.