This review intentionally makes no comparison of Khoobsurat with its namesake which is a par excellence classic of Hrishikesh Mukherjee
When you have a larger than life personality offscreen you films will undoubtedly suffer from preconceived notions that may just hurt its chances with the audiences. Khoobsurat is likely to suffer this courtesy of its leading lady Sonam Kapoor. But having seen the film and having regard to Sonam’s off-screen persona, this film actually could not have suited a better lady. Shashanka Ghosh’s most commercial directorial till date ultimately the aims to leave you feeling happy and entertained and that is exactly what it is.
Milli (Sonam Kapoor) enters the lives of the Rathods as a mere physiotherapist who aims to nurse Rathod Senior (Aamir Raza Hussain) to health after a traumatic accident. However the eccentric, loud and bold Milli ultimately ends up doing more than just nursing the Raja Shekhar Singh Rathod to health. She soon melts the heart of the Prince Vikram (Fawad Khan), becomes a close confidante to his sister and even wins over the mahal’s employees. However its undeniable that this love story will have a while to travel before people from such different walks of life can live happily ever after.
Given the promos of the film I had braced myself for Sonam at her over-acting best but to my delight she is rather restrained! She does as much is necessary to be Milli and funnily enough you can’t help smiling at her weird antics. Beyond that, Milli has surprisingly a lot of relatable traits and the inner-Milli dialogue brought that across quite well.
Another thing I was bracing myself for was that Fawad Khan would be perhaps treated like a pretty piece of furniture given the way he has been promoted by the makers however to my relief Vikram is a well written character which needed an actor with a huge amount of confidence to pull it off. Whilst new to the Indian big screen Fawad Khan is definitely not a neophyte who lacks confident in front of the camera making him an absolute perfect fit for role of a confident, no-nonsense business-minded Prince. And just when you think you’ve figured him all out theres the epilogue seen with Kirron Kher which, I hope, seals his fate in Indian cinema for a long time!
Coming now to the best part of the film, Mrs Kher! Kirron Kher’s performance was the highlight of the film for me and if there is one thing that I would want to change about the movie it would be the length of her role. She ought to have been there for longer. Nonetheless she is outstanding as Manju. Then there’s Ratna Pathak Shah who like Kirron is a maestro at stealing the scene. She is phenomenal as the stoic Rani-sa. Aamir Raza Hussain strikes up a great chemistry with Sonam Kapoor as they have numerous scenes together making his appearance, for a lack of a better word, rather sweet.
Rest assured the storyline above is not as simplistic as it may seem. Khoobsurat does touch on more serious emotional notes and does it subtly enough to leave an impact but not negate from the overall lighthearted feel of the film. And though you may think that it all sounds all too predictable so why should one bother, rest assured that there’s a whole lot of uniqueness in the treatment of this Desi-royal love story. For example, the soundtrack itself is anything but the run-of-the-mill chickflick soundtrack you expect in Indian cinema! It is of the classic fairy tale genre perhaps but has those distinct touches that make it ‘real’. The small quirky and silly additions to the stock standard love story make this one a not-to-miss experience. The heroine is not the usual Hindi love story’s angelic, unreal goody-two-shoe heroine. Instead she’s crazy, witty and makes a fool out of herself at every step and is generally quite real (except for maybe her all-too-obviously mismatched attires). Overall I really have no qualms with Khoobsurat. It doesn’t break any cinematic moulds or attempt to change the face of Indian cinema, but then again it never intended to it. It intended to be crazy, simple, silly, cute and entertaining, and that is what it is! It is one of the biggest surprises of 2014.