There is so much that this well-intended well-targeted misfire could have done with the theme of female foeticide, if only it did not allow itself to be bogged down by unnecessarily goofy chase sequences and lengthy monologues on how important a ‘Pappi’(kiss) is to humanity.
That’s where Ranveer Singh, bright bubbly and bouncy, lost me. His big monologue on the kiss is a total miss , and if I were this film’s director I would immediately remove it from the narrative before its causes more damage to what could have been a sparkling satire on gender politics.
Jayeshbhai Jordar is a mixed bag. It’s messy but not unlikeable. It is at times enormously endearing especially when the softhearted Jayesh is shown in the company of his wife(Shalini Pandey) and his livewire daughter(Jia Vaidya).
Then his villainous father, played with lipsmacking relish by Boman Irani, jumps into the plot like an elephant in a swimmingpool. His highly unwelcome attention towards Jayesh’s unborn child impels Jayesh, his wife and daughter to flee their Gujarati village into a Utopian hamlet in Haryana where girl children are welcomed with open arms. By the time Gujarat meets Haryana the plot is busy scaling summits of stupidity in what turns out to be a sadly lost cause.
The fantasy element paints the narrative’s midriff with a riot of mismatched colours, some so loud it’s like watching a Gujarati street play, other so absurd you wonder about the blunder. How could the team so in the spirit of the theme initially, get so mired in chaos?!
Regrettably Ranveer’s adrenaline rush is unable to hold the road trip together. Ranveer and his screen family do look like a real family. If only they had more meat to chew on in this bland vegetarian misfire where a kiss is considered a liberating act and the goons seem unsure of what they are meant to do with their restless mojo. Maybe kiss one another?
Nonetheless, some of the scenes especially in the first-half are genuinely heartwarming and funny. Ranveer constructs a convincing graph for his timid character. Sadly, the screenplay doesn’t support his enthusiasm. After a point you feel the film isn’t going anywhere. It seems happy to simply go around in circles.
Ranveer’s body language and the spoken Gujarati diction are impressively in-character. From the rest of the cast , Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah are expectably attuned to the satirical mood. Ratna Pathak Shah could have done with more space to exhale her grace. But the film seems to in a race with itself to cover the entire gamut of gender-discrimination emotions.
It’s like a rollercoast ride where the one manning the ride has fallen asleep.