A near-marriage of brevity, gravity

A near-marriage of brevity, gravity

Hasee Toh Phasee
Hindi (UA) ***
Cast: Siddharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Adah Sharma, Manoj Joshi, Sharat Saxena
Director: Vinil Mathew

Ever wondered what would happen if Hindi films got rid of melodramatic scenes? Watch Hasee to Phasee to judge for yourself. Chances are, you will heave a sigh of relief, and giggle through the free flow of a film whose tagline describes it with a Spoonerism that seems to describe it to the T.

We have (Nikhil) Siddharth Malhotra, son of a retired policeman (Sharat Saxena) who wants his son to follow in his footsteps, meeting the bride’s younger sister Karishma (Adah Sharma) at a friend’s wedding and coming to like each other. But unbeknownst to both, he had just helped another of the bride’s sisters, Meeta (Parineeti Chopra), run away, stealing all the money from her dad (Manoj Joshi) to fund a project.

Seven years later, just as Nikhil and Karishma are about to get married, Meeta makes a comeback in such a way that it leaves the lives of many people in turmoil. Thankfully, these are the scenes where the audience is spared of the “typical rona-dhona”, instead being treated to some crackling dialogue, strong acting and a pace of storytelling breezy enough for a spring morning. One only wishes that the story would not intermittently resort to pseudo-science to explain plot-points.

Kudos to director Vinil Mathew for all these. One only hopes he could have extended this streak till the very end, which is a letdown. Mathew had the potential to make a memorable love story – he had all the ingredients in his hand. However, instead of serving a boldly delectable dish that could have wowed both critics and the audience, he ends up making some comfort food that fails to leave a lasting impression.

Hasee to Phasee is nearly Parineeti’s film: She has a tight grip on her character and manages to get us hooked on for the ride. Too bad the character hasn’t been fleshed out very clearly. Siddharth Malhotra has improved, but still has a long way to go. Joshi and Saxena remained underutilised, and that’s just another thing about the film that could have been much better, including the music. This one’s a strict one-time watch.

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