Hasee Toh Phasee Movie Review: Not Exceptional, But Defies Stereotypes
Hasee Toh Phasee enjoys one of the quirkiest and the quick-fire kick-start for a Bollywood film. A girl finding ways to lock the door from inside, while being outside, a boy sneaking out to catch Agneepath, the girl growing up to devise ways of an innovative baseball game, the boy thinking of coming up with something better than IPL and then in today's time, girl graduating to being a scientist and the boy asking for 5-10-15 crore loan from his to-be-father-in-law as if it was loose change - all of this happens in the first 15 minutes of the film which hooks one instantly to this debut directorial effort of Vinil Mathew.
Such is the fun element in the film that once Parineeti Chopra comes in the life of Sidharth Malhotra even when he is about to get married to her sister Adah Sharma, you truly enjoy what plays on screen. The eccentric ways of Parineeti, the calm and composure of Sidharth, the stage being set for this BIG Indian wedding, the household of Sharat Saxena and Manoj Joshi, the various family members, the friends who come under one roof - just about everything is brought in good measure for Hasee Toh Phasee.
However, after the stage is set, you start hunting for a real story. This is where one wonders why there wasn't much stranglehold over the affairs. Frankly, after 40-50 minutes into the film, you start questioning where the film is eventually headed for. Frankly, the core story just about disappears and the narrative is kept interesting just with the help of situations, which are designed to be funny. So whether it is varied expressions that Parineeti gives, her many sensations, the surprise event planned by Sidharth, an innovative Gujarati-Chinese rap sequence and a couple of emotional moments that are thrown in as well - you like it all.
You do expect though that the film would find an added momentum in the second half with some real twists in the tale being thrown in. Instead, what you get to witness are far less comical moments and added dramatic elements, though with not as much impact. Oh yes, the terrace sequence between Sidharth and Manoj Joshi is terrific but that by itself isn't enough to keep the viewer hooked on. Moreover, there are too many songs - although well tuned - towards the last 30-40 minutes which makes a viewer impatient since he would rather want the culmination to arrive sooner than later.
(Spoilers ahead) Not just that as many threads that had been opened up in the first half just don't tie up. What was this whole China background and sporadic interspersions all about? How did Parineeti get almost cured and mostly normal as the narrative progressed? What is the true equation between Sidharth and Adah? Why is Manoj Joshi tolerating the abusive behavior of his brother (Sameer Khakhar)? Why is Sidharth willing to aid Parineeti in a cyber crime instead of helping out with a better solution? And most importantly, what's the relevance of the film's very title - Hasee Toh Phasee?
When so many questions start popping up, you know that the overall narrative isn't as engrossing as it ought to be. Ok, so there is certain subtlety in affairs, which is good as it leads to an old world charm at multiple junctures in Hasee Toh Phasee. So you do like the manner in which Sidharth and Parineeti comes close to each other. However it is tough to absorb that no one in the household, even with a couple of dozen people present 24X7, were able to see something brewing between the two.
Nevertheless, what you do actually like is the entire brewing, what with Sidharth and Parineeti really stealing the show. If Parineeti is wild, especially in the first 45 minutes of the film (which are also the best), Sidharth is restrained and very un-hero type, which is commendable since his overall persona pretty much warrants that he is slotted differently. Adah fits in well, looks very pretty and makes her presence felt in each of her scenes. In addition, Manoj Joshi plays a pivotal role and is very good in his outburst during pre-climax. Sharat Saxena does well again with his comic timing and is superb in the Pradhyuman-Daya sequence. Anil Mange, as the Kanpur Idol, is a riot!
Though Hasee Toh Phasee isn't exceptional, what works for it is its uniqueness quotient as well as the leading actors who defy stereotype as performers so early in their career.
Release Date : 07 February 2014
Director : Vinil Mathew
Genre : Comedy