With its release today, the makers of Jodi Breakers will definitely heave a sigh of relief. After all, the Ashwini Chaudhary release has been embroiled in controversies ever since the people behind the French hit, Heartbreaker, accused it of plagiarising its story line. And post a viewing, there's little resemblance between the Romain Duris-Vanessa Paradis starrer, and the new Madhavan-Bipasha rom-com.
Well, that's the good news, at least. The twist in the tale is that while Jodi Breakers is definitely an original attempt, with a storyline that's 'hatke' and performances that charm, the film doesn't quite become what it could have been.
Jodi Breakers follows the story of Sid (Madhavan) and Sonali (Bipasha Basu), who play the titular 'jodi breakers', or divorce experts. While Sid is himself a cynical divorcee, Sonali is a romantic who still believes in love and believes that divorce is for people who still haven't found the 'right one' yet. However, as their own professional relationship begins to turn into something right, they come upon a rift, as they engineer the break-up of Mark Pereira (Milind Soman) and his 'mistress' Maggie (Dipannita), only to realise that the two are meant to be together. Trying to get Mark and Maggie back together, Sid and Sonali discover something of their own.
With an unconventional pairing in the topline, the film draws on some strong performances from both Madhavan and Bipasha. For Basu, it's her first rom-com outing and she excels as the light-hearted Sonali here. For Madhavan, though, it's a bit of a struggle, initially, to slip into the role of a divorced bachelor. As the film proceeds, though, the talented actor does a fine job as the uncharacteristically grey Sid. The unlikely chemistry between Bips and Maddy adds a lot to the film too.
The two find great support in Omi Vaidya, who plays Nano, their sex-maniac of a friend. Omi's Nano is a throwback to his breakout role of 'Chatur' in 3 Idiots, but the act is yet to get old, and Vaidya gets the top laughs of the film.
Milind Soman and Dipannita get secondary characters and try to do their best, though the two ex-models still turn out quite stone-faced. It's great to see the legendary Helen back in action here, though her role as Mark's sweet, angelic granny is quite cliched.
It is in the treatment that the film goes wrong. The director, Ashwini Chaudhary can't get a steady pace for his narrative, rushing through the first half, Sid and Sonali's meeting, their partnership, the development of their romance, only to dawdle in the second half. For a rom-com, Chaudhary also lets the film get a bit too melodramatic in the second half, as the track with Mark and Maggie comes in. There's no doubt that the film could have been better edited.
With the landscapes of Goa and Greece in the backdrop, the film's cinematography offers quite a few memorable visuals.
The music, from Salim-Suleiman, has their trademark touch, and manages to hit the mark. However, one wishes tracks like darmiyan and kunwara could have been used better.
Overall, Jodi Breakers is a film worth a watch, at least. Though it has its flaws, the hatke storyline does set it apart from the regular run-of-the-mill affairs that Bollywood usually offers.