Written by: Suprotim Sengupta
Directed by: Akshay Roy
Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurana)
Bindu Shankar Narayanan (Parineeti Chopra)
Paisa Vasooli: 3 / 5
If someone asked me what first love is, I would say it is like:
– that first song you ever memorised and performed. No matter how old you get, those words will rush back to you in the same shape and form
– that one dish only your mother cooks the way you want
– that cricket match you won for your team single-handedly
In other words, they are distinct and irreplaceable.
First love is one of the most defining events. It is almost synonymous to the calendar division – B.C. and A.D. – coz after that, everything else is routine, almost an understatement. But here, A.D. doesn’t mean After Death because first love never dies. It grows as you grow, it breathes as you breathe, it lives as you live and acquires a vivid form which stays peacefully tucked away in some corner of your heart, some recesses of your mind and rushes to report whenever summoned in the wake of a void, a lament, a reminisce or a discussion. The unasked, agonizing pain of an unfinished first love unnoticeably transforms itself into a desirable sweet pain; one which is accessed frequently as it is a reminder of a glorious period in an otherwise sequence of bland and colourless events. And before long, it becomes the single most potent source of strength which enables you to chug along. It is difficult to inscribe an exact date to this transformation because it happens in its due course of time, but sooner or later, it does happen.
Meri Pyaari Bindu (MPB) is a delightful reminder of that universally dangerous first love which consumes you; only to strengthen you later – an inexplicable yet beautiful contradiction.
Plot:A child instantly falls for his new neighbour and pursues her with a dedication exclusive to victims of first love.
MPB can be termed as a redemption of sorts on behalf of Yash Raj films because it is a story shot with a different lens – a lens seeped in reality; unlike those countless “happily-ever-afters” they peddled and we watched as we grew up. It draws a parallel between the incomparable passion of love and the fixation for Hindi Cinema & its songs and subtly fuses the two with its exquisite writing. A warm celebration of an unfinished love which pays a unique tribute to our cinema and its artistes who have played a key role in our love episode without us even realising it.
The strength of MPB lies in its writing which is perfectly relatable for those who have lived in the era it is set in. It unravels like nostalgia – comfortably jumping between past and present to revisit the special moments of one’s life. Suprotim Sengupta’s words flood you with your own experiences and emotions as the story proceeds. An ardent follower of Hindi Cinema will identify with the common yet unique references the film is peppered with because the same references find their way into the discussions we engage in. MPB gives another dimension to the essential background of Hindi film songs which we witnessed in Dum Laga Ke Haisha.
In one of the scenes, Abhimanyu storms into a music shop (erstwhile cassette corner) and asks the owner to fix his mixtape. The owner – perplexed at seeing the anachronistic object – suggests him to switch to Mp3 to which Abhimanyu says – “These songs sound the most melodious when listened from this tape.”The owner – a definite connoisseur of music – imparts the golden words of wisdom – “Barman-Gulzar, Kishore-Kaka, Rafi-Lata: preserve these combos like a treasure, they don’t make like these anymore.”
In the era of iPods and mp3, the significance of mix tapes is tragically lost. Blessed are those who dedicated mixtapes to a special someone.
Talking about performances, Ayushmann easily steps into the shoes of Abhimanyu, a guy who clings to hope; hopelessly. His loveable character takes you on a worthy ride and does a beautiful job with his voiceover too. As a writer of Hindi pulp who is obsessed with his first love, he is endearing. Parineeti is charming as Bindu, a girl who is perpetually confused about what she wants. She has played similar parts before but this is different. She never enters the zone of annoyance to prove her indecisiveness.
Akshay Roy superbly handles a well-written script and gives it an enviable form. His storytelling keeps you involved throughout. Sachin-Jigar’s musical score is another asset. The beautifully composed songs have been strategically used to produce maximum effect. Tushar’s cinematography captures the essence of Calcutta and Shweta’s editing is seamless.
MPB stays true to the nature of life and doesn’t yield to the burden of closure, an aspect which can prove to be a double-edged sword for its business prospects. The film can annoy a large section of the audience which seeks closure in every film it watches – a mental conditioning induced by the romantic films of the bygone era. The situation is quite ironic because the production house which has been oft criticised for making larger-than-life films detached from reality; runs the risk of getting criticised even more when for once it presents us with a piece which is somewhere close to reality.
In all, MPB is not an emotional diarrhoea. It doesn’t make you cry, but makes you reminisce.
Verdict:If you nestle first love in your heart and don’t belong to the closure-seeking audience, you may find it enjoyable. If the above two conditions are Greek-and-Latin to you, you can give it a miss.
A postgraduate from Symbiosis University & a digital marketing consultant, he loves being sarcastic as it's extremely healthy for the mind & adds up to 3 years to life as well. Cinema is to him what oxygen is to people. A voracious reader who never tolerates anything negative about Matthew Mcconaughey & Govinda.