Well, this is a disappointment! Not based on the poster, it’s perfectly in line with what I expected from that, but based on the initially casting and topic announcement I had higher hopes. Oh well, all of life is just a series of disappointments (it’s overcast today and I haven’t had my coffee yet).
Here is where they lose me. If it is a sperm mix up, then why is it IVF? Why not simple artificial insemination? The simplest answer is that artificial insemination would both feel too much like the men are actually having sex with the wrong woman, and it would mean that the fertility problems are with the men only, not the women. And that is a blechy answer! If it is going to be an IVF mix up, than make it a full mix up, the wrong embryo (both mother and father) is put into the wrong woman. Plus, then you have the far more interesting (to me) idea of it being only about the pregnancy, the couples theoretically planning to swap babies post birth but wanting to stay close to “their” child during the pregnancy and thus living together. And the whole hostage situation kind of thing that means they have to compromise and work together.
But no, instead we get this. The wrong sperm is used to fertilize the wrong egg (not a great message about IVF by the way, how many people watching this movie are going to be scared away from the process, or judgmental of those who go through it? Or inspired to keep their own fertility struggles even more secret?), and then the couples have to decide what to do about the babies. But not in a serious considered way, just FUNNY. Ha-ha, Akshay’s going to be raising a cuckoo in the nest.
Oh, and the other thing that bothers me but maybe I am thinking too much about it, the mix up is because the two men have the same last name, right? Which means their wives aren’t carrying their children, but they are carrying a child of the correct caste and religion and ethnic group, and for both the characters and the audience that part of it (raising a child who is biologically Muslim, oh my!) isn’t a concern. Is that part of why the mix-up is based on last names do you think? Or am I overthinking it?
Now, the good things! Akshay doesn’t look terrible, they let him have a touch of grey. Kareena looks as fabulous as she has been looking, is it possible that Kapoor women are the reverse of Kapoor men? Just get more and more attractive with age? Diljit is doing the kind of comedy he does in Punjabi films for the first time in Hindi, which is interesting and I do like his Punjabi comedies. Kiara….well, she’s there. She’s working steadily, it’s good to have a job. Even if it is terribly undignified.
And it’s nice that Akshay’s character seems to be ready to accept Kareena’s child as his own child, even if Diljit has a different way of seeing it. And it’s nice that IVF is treated as a more or less every day thing (or is it nice? I mean, it’s expensive, right? I hope the film acknowledges at some point the privilege of these characters in even having the option). And there are some moments of sadness and seriousness in the trailer. If this turns out to be every wacky moment of the film and the rest of it is truly dealing with both the emotions of infertility and the emotions of accepting a baby that maybe isn’t your dream baby, then I will be very very happy.
And I will also be happy if Diljit and Kiara get at least one moment of screentime which isn’t about wacky Punjabi stereotypes.