De De Pyaar De Review (No Spoilers): It’s All About the Woman

Luv Ranjan is such a FASCINATING artist!!!! I can’t think of anyone else who brings together such different sensibilities within one artist. And, in this case, within one movie! He didn’t direct, but he produced and wrote the script, and it is pretty clearly more of a Luv Ranjan movie than anything else. Really interesting, a film that is both a fun light sexy situational comedy, and also a drama about being a woman and being a man and being a family.

This is a movie that rises and falls on the casting of Ajay Devgan. No, not quite that, it rises and falls on how it was carefully written around Ajay Devgan. Ajay plays the sexiest possible version of himself, which is indeed very very sexy. He is drinking scotch and being too old to run after a woman and being secure enough to make fun of his insecurities and still knowing how to beat off 3 muggers if he absolutely has to. Because it is Ajay, everything else falls in to place. We believe absolutely that he can have two women hung up on him, and we believe in those woman as real people with needs not just a middle-aged man’s fantasy. And from there, we believe in the whole conflict and story of the film, it all works as real people with real problems coming from real motivations we can understand.

See? Mature Sexy

Ajay is good, Rakul isn’t bad either. I’ve seen her in 4 movies now, and this is the most character she’s gotten in any of them, and the best performance. She is fun and youthful and sexy, but also has internal conflicts that we can understand and sympathize with. Tabu of course, is also excellent. Her character isn’t as fun as Rakul’s, I wish she’d gotten more comedy scenes. But then, she was SO GOOD in the drama scenes that I didn’t even care.

That’s really what I could say about the movie as a whole, a wish there had been more comedy, but then the drama scenes were SO GOOD that I didn’t care. To put it in Luv Ranjan terms, this movie is half Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety, and half Akash Vaani. The comedy is kind of fun, mostly when Ajay is doing stuff. The drama is very heavy, but at the same time so original and empathetic and brave that I don’t even care. Let Tabu have her two loooooooong speeches straight to the camera/audience! Let the film stop dead for people to discuss openly and honestly the reality of relationships that don’t fit social expectations!

The songs aren’t nearly as good as Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety, but they are fine

If you only know Luv Ranjan from Pyaar Ke Punchamma 2 and Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety, it would be easy to miss his feminism. The thing is, when he is dealing with his male characters, he has them honestly express their attitudes and points of view. And when he is dealing with his female characters, they have the same opportunity. Only, in his big hit movies, the female characters haven’t been the center of the plot. Although even in Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety, there is one woman who has a moment to confront the men with their blindspots, and her reality, and the film stops dead to give her that moment. In this movie, there is slightly more time given to Ajay in the first half, but Rakul isn’t invisible by any means. And the second half truly belongs to the women, Rajul and Tabu and (surprise!) Inayat Sood as Ajay’s daughter.

This isn’t a very good movie, but it is in that odd place where I don’t necessarily want it to be better, because then it would be far less interesting. I don’t want it to be merely a comedy, even if that would make it more cohesive and fun. And I also don’t want to make it all drama all the time, even if that might have made it more serious and respectable. So I guess I will live with the odd way it straddles genres. If you also would like to see Ajay do fun age appropriate romantic comedy, combined with Tabu giving a seering series of speeches about the life of a woman, then this is the film for you!

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2 thoughts on “De De Pyaar De Review (No Spoilers): It’s All About the Woman

    • Thank you! This is what happens when I write reviews after midnight. I’ll change it.

      On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 12:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Like

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