(Writer of this post : Prankies)
Not much of a Bollywood buff although; I still, once in a while, get desirous to watch one or the other movie on the offing. Meri Pyaari Bindu…, was a movie I was quite keen to watch because of its melodious song, ‘ Mana ki Hum Yaar Nahi..’, sung by Pariniti, the female lead in the movie.
Coming to the movie, the trailer raised a lot of expectations with its innovative way of storytelling and a medley of old songs pleasantly donning the backdrop. The brilliance of both the leads proved in their previous ventures too brought an extra hope from the movie.
So among all the hype and amidst the bloodbath of Bahubali -2, the movie released on 12th of May, to a series of bad reviews by the leading critics.
The movie starts with an insipid narration of the plot by the narrator cum male protagonist, Abhimanyu ‘ Bubla’ Roy, a famed writer of the pulp fiction who earns his livelihood by scribbling cheap fantasy novels, which are a horrible mix of horror and erotica, going with titles like chudail ki choli. Roy, who is always on the target of feminists defends himself, saying this is what sells and in an oblique reference to recent bankers and MBA’s like Chetan Bhagat and others who are are writing romantic novels, he says everyone out there is writing on love then why should he be bothered to write on a quirky topic love. The movie then proceeds to show lots of crumbled paper making their way to dustbins, with many more just ricocheting off the walls to ultimately settle on the floor of an ill-maintained, gloomy and shabby beachside Mumbai flat. A table and an old piece of typewriter, which would have been much more suited to be placed in a museum, retains the centre space with a devdasesque Abhimanyu working aimlessly for a new novel, for which an advance from the publisher has already been withdrawn by his agent and it is about three years since he has written a novel. Though the agent of Roy cribs about the typewriter, the director fails to provide a justification for the use of typewriter in this digital age, as they were obsolete even by the timeline shown by the film-maker and it is difficult to assume that an MBA who was working for a corporate bank prefers a typewriter for writing a novel that can go for years. Ignoring this as a director’s effort to produce a vintage effect, let us move forward in the story. Bubla has been out of his hometown for many years now and his family is missing him. His mom and dad plots and make him come to Kolkata on a pretext of getting a divorce from each other, which turns out to be a farce and he is seemingly annoyed but a few minutes later his eyes light up seeing a flash in the neighbouring terrace room, where he first met his beloved and crush, Bindu Shankarnarayan, in the year 1983 when they were as little as five years old. The laconic Roy and Bubbly Bindu grew together to become the best buddies and this made the plot of Roy’s new novel , ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’.
From here the movie goes again into the narrator mode with a few shots corresponding to the present. The storyline of the movie has nothing more to offer than the trailers as if one has seen the trailers I assume they have already seen the most of the movie and nothing much is left.
The flashback and the novel starts with the screen size projection of the face of Bindu on a temporary screen erected by Roy and a brief introduction of Bindu Shankarnarayan, daughter of a retired Major, who created ruckus in the home after getting drunk, moved the adjoining house of Roy, who made friendship with Bindu after she offered him her walkman for listening to a song, saying,” Isse sun, Zindagi badal jayegi”. Their friendship and chemistry in the periods extending up to their adulthood were bright points in the movie. The quirkiness and jolly nature of Pariniti was there to see with her full facial expressions she is known for. The organically grown friendship showed Roy and Bindu to be inseperable best friends who shared each other secrets, were partners in crime. It also showed meticulous and intellectual Abhimanyu playing a second fiddle to Bold, resourceful and Bossy Bindu. Even in a dialougue He refers her to be Gabbar and himself to be Sambha. He was also her Man-Friday who turned out for her rescue, in her emergencies, which as per him were not very infrequent. Their code word calls, chats and glaring looks on mother’s face will surely take you down a memory lane in the late nineties and early part of this century when mobile phones were still too distant a dream to make a mockery of all the efforts which lovers used to go through in their time.
The story though moved on expected lines with an out of focus Bindu, jumping from one ship to other, whether being a relationship or career. With the sudden death of her mother in a road accident due to the negligence of his father, she left her home and moved to live with her maasi in Australia, leaving even her degree incomplete. The film moves at a hectic pace and the director seems to be in hurry to end the movie without giving a reasonable time to the audience to connect to the film and this is where the movie fails to garner positive reviews. The narration moves ahead showing them moving ahead with times and getting on with their lives. Roy has a girlfriend whereas Bindu has survived two close calls of getting married by running away after engagements. So, it is four years since they have last met and the communications too became few and far between, resulting in a mutual break away from their best friends relationship.
The phase though dealt very quickly showed how little our heart cares for the relationships when we are quite young and busy. When we have lots of friends and are happy, we tend to forget the one who supports us during our bad times and only when we are broken and lonely we remember them. So, here too the protagonists forgot about each other till they discovered each other one day while vacationing at Goa. On the coincidence of bumping into each other, Roy hit upon Bindu and teased her to marry him to which she replied that he is late as she is engaged again. She told him her career plans and since she was living in Mumbai they shared each other contacts. Mumbai, the city of dreams had drawn Bindu, who aspired to be a singer since childhood. She, being in Mumbai again started the thing they had left at Kolkata, their friendship. The one of mutual trust and understanding where she became his priority once again. He rushed to help her in her idiotic issues, most of the times leaving her girlfriend high and dry waiting for him on the couch. This resulted in the inevitable as his girl friend broke away with him, meanwhile the betrothed of Bindu broke their engagement. Finally there was the much awaited relationship getting a formal name, they became a happy couple, enjoying evening walks, parties with friends, acceptance of the family and most importantly helping out each other to cherish their innate dreams; Abhimanyu of his becoming a writer and Bindu of a Singer. Their continuous efforts in making a rock star out of Bindu succeeded when a music album of hers was released. The high expectations went into a skydive when it failed to get footings on charts and resulted in a heartbreak for Pariniti. At this moment Abhimanyu, the banker asked her to marry him and the commitment phobic Bindu freaked out.She could not see herself as a housewife to an ordinary banker and she had lost her dreams to be a singer recently making her confused what to do. Abhimanyu too got shattered with the unexpected turns of events. He knew her to be eccentric, quirky and focusless, but he never thought she’d do it to him. She again left the town and moved to Bangalore. She though tried to contact Abhimanyu umpteen times, but he never picked her calls or emails. Slowly and sadly again the communication stopped. Meanwhile Abhimanyu too got fed up with his life and job and put in his letters to become a writer. He got his first novel published and he got a call at night from Bindu, who called from an unknown number. Congratulating him for fulfilling his dreams she broke the news of her marriage.
The intertwining of the flashback and the story of the novel was a concept in the movie which was enthralling as it was fascinating to see how Abhimanyu saw the development, however, what I missed most was the Bindu’s version. I accept that the movie is narrator’s point of view, still, it is incomplete without Bindu’s version.
The climax of the movie is shot in the present where Bubla’s family has organized a party to celebrate His father’s birthday. Roy finds that Major has sold his house and moving to Australia. A visually perturbed Roy, finds another shock seeing his agent enquiring about his whereabouts with his family, making him flee the scene. When he reruns to his home he is startled to receive the two rings on his landline which was once the secret code for an emergency. Enthused and anxious he runs to the terrace room, to find a little 5-year-old sitting on the exact place where once sat his dear Bindu 23 years earlier. He plays with her for few minutes when her mother, searching for her comes in the room. Attired in a beautiful silk saree, with all the traditional marks of a married woman in a conservative Indian society, stood once bold and quirky Bindu. The director chose not to dwell much upon the transformation of Bindu, post marriage but instead wrapped up the movie with Abhimanyu sharing his newly wrote novel with her, where he chose to substitute the ending with the male lead of the novel running all the way to Bangalore to snatch back her lady love, terming it as ” A Happy Ending”, which is loved by all.
The movie ends with all the characters dancing out in the rain and the melodious song for which I watched whole movie, Mana ki Hum Yaar Nahin.
I While writing the review, I got carried away and what I wrote was the story of the movie. People while watching it might find similarities with recent rom-coms, where the concept of friend-zoning is a hit. The bold female leads, the tagging along Male leads, playing second fiddle losing their love to someone else. The movie though differs from them in a way it ended, and despite of all the looholes in the movie the climax is what I liked.
The take on the relatonships was much mature and realistic in the climax where the lifetime friends are happy for each other and move on with their life, with misty eyes and wistful smile.
The saving grace for the film was its music, quirky and bubbly Pariniti, with her lovely facial expressions. The dialougues were cringy and chessy, not doing justice to the movie.
One dialougue which was shone out of others though was where Bindu describes her terrace room to be a place where she wants to stay whenever she is down, depressed, sad and lonely, and ends the sentence with saying, “tum mere terrace room ho , Abhimanyu.
So, it’s a one time watch but a cute movie.
Good efforts dear…you really took pains to write so much I guess..
and the movie sounds to be complicated and at the same time sweet , somewhat similar to real life stories.
Lets see when I watch the movie…anyways this was a good read.
Keep scribbling prankies
Happy reading readers
Yours loving warrior