“Do Aur Do Pyaar is a flawless rom-com funny and puckish, tender and savage” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Do Aur Do Pyaar
Starring Vidya Balan, Pratik Gandhi, Ileana D’Cruz, and Sendhil Ramamurthy
Director: Shirsha Guha Thakurta

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 every 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 end result 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 offather (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.

Our Rating

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