Starring: Boman Irani, Shabana Azmi, Amisha Patel, Karan Khanna, Sandhya Mridul, Vikram Chatwal, Diz Mirza, Ranvir Shorey, Raima Sen, Kay Kay Menon, Abhay Deol, Minissha Lamba and Arjun Rampal (in a special appearance)
Director: Reema Kagti
While the majority of audiences look forward to big-budget extravaganzas like Salaam-e-Ishq, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Fanaa and films of a supposed “high league”, there are several smaller films that are forced to live in their shadows. Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. is one such film. Small budget, not a particularly rocking cast, and a debut director; the film wasn’t exactly expected to set fire! Everything is small about the film, but its got a big story…and that’s why it scores! It’s not one of those ridiculous comedies that require no brains at all and nor is it an intense film; it has the perfect balance. After mindless comedies along the lines of Phir Hera Pheri, Garam Masala and Shaadi No. 1, this film comes across as a surprise as it’s actually funny!
Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. focuses on six couples and their respective stories. In a bright pink bus, they are all traveling together on their honeymoon from fast-paced Mumbai to relaxing and sunny Goa. How the honeymoon progresses as each of the couples stories unfold forms the premise of the film. Uniquely, the film is narrated humorously through a radio show titled “Pyaar Ke Lamhe”. The only place the film falters is due to a loose script. Although the six stories are not episodic but are rather woven together, the following is an analysis of the six tracks.
1. Kay Kay Menon-Raima Sen: A laugh riot!
Easily, this one constitutes as the most entertaining story of the film! Partho and Milly Sen are conservative, restrained and calm—or at least they seem that way! Partho is the sensible and over-protective husband while Milly is traditional clad in a sari and a tight bun. The heat of Goa seems to unleash a completely different side of Milly as she lets her hair down and reveals her wild side, much to the astonishment of Partho. Partho is bewildered and scrambles to control his wife who seems to be changing more and more each day. Kay Kay is brilliant and an absolute laugh riot in a role that seems tailor made for him. Raima Sen is realistic in entirety and does a fine job. It’s nice to see her in a role longer than what we usually see her play.
2. Boman Irani-Shabana Azmi: Entertaining but serious
So what if Oscar and Nahid are past their prime? That doesn’t stop them from going on a honeymoon, no matter how many eyes ogle at them. They seemed to share subdued and mature love, but there’s more than meets the eye. Underneath the jokes and humour are two human beings in emotional turmoil. As the movie progresses their pasts are revealed and we learn the reason for their distress. Honestly, Boman Irani is the definition of versatility. He pitches in a great performance and is dependable as usual. Shabana Azmi is, as usual, fantastic. She leaves a lasting impression. They make a nice pairing too!
3. Amisha Patel-Karan Khanna: Evokes a few chuckles
This story starts off quite laid back with chirpy (talks 24/7!) Pinky head over heels in love with the man of hear dreams, Vicky. She is thrilled to be on her honeymoon and wants to make it full of romance and fun. Unfortunately, Vicky doesn’t cooperate as he seems disinterested most of the time leaving Pinky slightly worried and annoyed. Little does she know that Vicky has his eye on someone else—a person she would never have imagined! In this story, Kagti takes a sensitive subject, especially for Indian audiences, and incorporates it into a comedic movie. The only downside is that the story is left incomplete at the end and the viewer is left hanging. Amisha Patel as bubbly Pinky does quite well and doesn’t annoy as much as usual. She’s quite bareable and funny at times too! Karan Khanna is okay.
4. Abhay Deol-Minissha Lamba: Picture Perfect but crappy ending
Especially for the first part, Aspi and Zara are adorable as the picture-perfect couple who fit together like puzzle pieces. They never fight, are always smiling and are madly in love. They eat perfectly, swim perfectly, dance perfectly; they are just perfect. But Aspi and Zara are hiding something—something big. This story is well put together but the ending is quite immature although children will love it. Still, it’s lovable. One wishes Reema could have come up with a more realistic ending, but in the end this is just an entertainer not realism. Both Abhay and Minissha are delightful and share great chemistry as well! Watch out for them in the ‘Pyaar Ki Yeh Kahani’ track…they’re marvellous!
5. Sandhya Mridul and Vikram Chatwal: Modern and fun with a serious subject
Madhu and Bunty are the most modern of the lot with a unique story to their marriage. After Madhu’s ex-boyfriend left her heartbroken and Bunty’s parents threatened to arrange a marriage for him, both resorted to the Internet to find their life partner. They come across each other and one thing leads to another until they are married, an alliance Bunty’s parents to not even know about. The seemingly lively and vibrant couple have a surprise—a surprise that will shock not only audiences, but Madhu herself! Sandhya Mridul is truly underrated and once again gives a natural performance straight from the heart. Vikram Chatwal is lifeless and robotic and the story would have been much better with a more expressive actor.
6. Ranvir Shorey and Dia Mirza: Love Triangle cut short
Hitesh and Shilpa have just got hitched by means of an arranged marriage and are off on their honeymoon. What is supposed to be a time full of romance and togetherness is absolutely miserable for Shilpa and consequently she’s in tears each time Hitesh turns around. He can’t seem to understand why, until another character emerges in this story and gives it a third dimension. Unfortunately, this story suffers tremendously because it is absent for a good portion of the film. An actor like Ranvir Shorey deserved a way better role than this! While Dia looks nice, she doesn’t have much to do but cry. Arjun Rampal in a special appearance does what he has to and nothing more.
Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. promises to leave you entertained and satisfied after you give two hours to view it. The film could have been better if only the script was a bit better written. Also, some viewers won’t like the radio show aspect of the film and might find it confusion, though personally I thought it was quite innovative and interesting. The track with the bus driver and his nephew was completely unnecessary. Also, some of the stories are not tied up in the end as well as they could have been. Vishal-Shekhar’s soundtrack works perfectly with the mood of the film. While ‘Sajnaji Vari Vari’ and ‘Pyaar Ki Yeh Kahani’ are instant hits, the rest of the soundtrack is great as well. Choreography is apt for the film and special mention goes to ‘Pyaar Ki Yeh Kahani’ which is stunning!
Overall, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. is entertaining. It may not be cinematic brilliance, but it’s a fun movie to watch when you don’t want to watch something intense. It’s got comedy, a bit of emotions, some actual serious subject matter, and great songs. If you haven’t already checked it out in theatres, this one’s a perfect DVD flick for the whole family!