Review: ‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’ is simple and endearing

Shomini Sen

She is not size zero. He doesn’t have a six pack. But Boman Irani–Farah Khan definitely make for an adorable filmi jodi in their new film ‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’.

Directed by veteran editor Bela Bhansali Sehgal, the film is your usual filmy love story, which is predictable from the very beginning. But what sets it apart from the rest of the stories is the film’s lead pair and some light-hearted moments which have been beautifully captured.

The story is of a 45 year old Parsi ‘boy’, Farhad (Boman Irani), who is single and very keen to mingle. Farhad lives with his ‘very loving’ mother (Daisy Irani) and grandmother (actress Shammi, after ages!). Society and family pressure make Farhad visit several prospective brides’ homes only to be rejected from every family because of his profession. The honest and shy Farhad works as a salesman at a lingerie shop in Mumbai. One fine day, Shirin (Farah Khan) enters his shop and his life changes for ever. Farhad falls in love with the confident, bindaas, quirky 40-year-old Shirin, and it is true love for the two. But Farhad, who is a mumma’s boy, has to first convince his mother, who considers Shirin as her arch enemy.

The plot isn’t new at all. Lovers facing difficulty due to familial objection has been dealt with before in Indian cinema. But the film makes for an interesting watch because the lead protagonists are not your usual 20-somethings. They are two middle aged people who have just not found the right partner to settle down with.

The film marks the acting debut of Farah Khan, who takes on the role of Shirin effortlessly. In fact, Shirin seems to be an extension of what Farah is – so in most scenes the director-choreographer and now actress doesn’t really have to ‘act’. As the blunt, effervescent Parsi ‘girl’, Farah shines as Shirin, making her acting debut seem quite effortless.

The film clearly belongs to Boman Irani though. Boman plays the shy, honest, somewhat silly Farhad beautifully and makes you smile at the way he goes out wooing Farha. Boman brilliantly adopts particular mannerisms of a nervous shy man who is very conscious of his single status. Boman makes Farhad very believable. The scene where he introduces his girlfriend to his mother and granny is hilarious and the four actors have enacted the scene brilliantly.

The director Bela Bhansali Sehgal and producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali have smartly used the supporting cast. It is great to see veteran actress Shammi portray Farhad’s granny cum confidante. The scenes between the two are simply adorable and you feel all warm and happy inside watching them. Daisy Irani, as Boman’s dominating mother also plays the quintessential Parsi lady well who desperately wants her son to get hitched.

The only problem with the film is that it tends to fall in the usual trappings of a commercial film in some parts. When you have such an amazing and confident set of actors who take the story forward in such simple and nice way, you don’t really need those unnecessary nach-gaana. Agreed, the songs are nice and the ‘Ramba mein Samba’ song, especially, is well choreographed, but overall these songs just hinder the narrative and don’t really take the story forward in any way. Being an editor, Bela Sehgal keeps the movie crisp otherwise.

More importantly, it is heartening to see a simple, nice romantic-comedy without any slapstick which is so common in today’s time. The movie makes you smile and laugh with each of its characters and their crazy, confusing ways.

Go and watch the shy nervous Farhad woo the blunt Shirin. It will remind you of the bygone era when things were simpler.

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