A passably executed teenybopper dream

Khoobsurat 
Hindi (U/A) ¬¬¬
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak Shah, Kirron Kher, Aamir Hussain Raza
Director: Shashank Ghosh

The formula of a hurricane-of-a-girl (or boy) infusing life into a sombre family has been repeated umpteen times across various languages. They always seem to be a hit with the audience, and especially more so when helmed by the likes of Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

 However, the present day “loose adaptation” of his 1981 classic is a pale imitation of the older namesake, despite — or is it because of — backing from Disney. 

Mili (Sonam Kapoor) is not entirely convincing as the hard-nosed physiotherapist she is introduced as: Several of her traits are contradictory. That may not be entirely her fault, but given that the flick was co-produced by Anil Kapoor Films, things could definitely have been different.

Kirron Kher, as Mili’s loud-mouthed but well-meaning mother, draws some laughs with comic timing. Aamir Raza Hussain’s turn as the elderly royal not keen on Mili’s treatment is tepid. Only Ratna Pathak Shah seems to have continued her “Sarabhai vs Sarabhai” act, managing to do justice to the role her mother essayed in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s version. And Fawad Khan is a talent to look out for, as he has amply proved on Pakistani television.

The director does deserve some kudos, though, for his handling of scenes depicting discomfiture and the way the audience peek into the protagonists’ thoughts. Ghosh’s use of visual elements is also commendable. However, he is let down by the likes of a wafer-thin story and straightforward plot. 

This review would be incomplete without a mention of Sneha Khanwalkar’s excellent songs, which are most of the time embellished with folksy or classical lyrics in a way that will make the listener happy on every revisit. Barring the bummer that is “Engine ki seeti”, though. 

Watch this one for some really light laughs. 

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