A film sparkles, a sequel disappoints

A film sparkles, a sequel disappoints

Shaadi Ke Side Effects Hindi (U/A) ***Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Ram Kapoor, Vir DasDirector: Saket Chaudhary

The USP of the original was an odd pair. Ditto the second, but not entirely. The people at the helm are same too. Even the characters are supposedly carried forward. And yet, when Pyaar turns to Shaadi, the side effects – the very premise of the original film – somehow get side-tracked. But you become engrossed in the protagonists' struggle with marital issues to notice.

True, that the question of how they keep it together is somewhat less appealing than the original: whether they end up together at all, but director Saket Chaudhary manages to keep his film afloat, thanks in no less measure to his actors.

For the fanboys of the original, missing is Rahul Bose’s shifty nervousness, which made every young suitor identify with Sid. Missing is Mallika Sherawat’s garrulous Trisha, who still managed to get us hooked. Missing is the counting of the side effects, which led to dollops of hilarity. And sorely missed are scenes like the score-keeping fight between the couple.

But look beyond them, and you have a well-executed story that many a married couple will identify with – at least in parts. We have a significantly more confident Sid (Farhan Akhtar), a somewhat “curvy” and polished Trisha (Vidya Balan), and a whole lot of spice.

As the film progresses, the condiments of this spicy concoction change: The two have a baby, struggle with parenthood, struggle to juggle duties. And that’s when an enviable “family man” (Ram Kapoor) delivers Sid the idea that eventually leads him through a tortuous road to the realisation of his family’s worth.

But within all that, the lead pair delivers some exchanges worthy of a marital manual, if ever a comprehensive one is compiled. Watch out for Trisha admonishing Sid for falling down “too loudly”, her “I want for you to want not to want to go” (or something similar) rant, and his struggle to understand what the infant wants. Sadly, all these are already part of the trailer, and there are not as many laughs otherwise.

Adding spice are Vir Das as the quintessential bachelor, Ila Arun as the twisted-mind-but-well-meaning maid who prefers to be called “aunty”, and Purab Kohli in a pivotal role. The music isn’t all that exceptional. Even the follow-up to the “Pyaar Kar Ke Pachhtaya” seems somewhat laboured. Overall, Shaadi Ke Side Effects is a better-than-average film, despite a sense of inevitability that could have made it much more believable and real.

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