Review: Hasee Toh Phasee

Rating:

And some times, love doesn’t happen at first sight, unlike most films would have us believe. Or love doesn’t necessarily follow intense animosity. Some times, you get to know a person and then you acknowledge the attraction you felt towards them. And some times, the film tries this stunt and it works even though it falls into the typical trappings of romantic comedies every once in a while.

Given that this genre is done to death, it is the characters and the moments chosen to drive the story forward that have to do all the hard work. The characters have to make themselves interesting with their gray shades and humanness and at the same time make us root for them. The situations have to present themselves in a novel way without seeming totally out of the box.

Hasee Toh Phasee succeeds on both counts, to a large extent. Meeta (Parineeti Chopra) is a zany character that is immediately likable. She is overtly quirky and yet given Parineeti’s skills she makes you overlook her craziness as “possible”. It’s not that Parineeti Chopra outdoes herself or has given a marvelous performance. Neither has she under-played the part. She just does her thing and convinces us to be with Meeta, for Meeta.

Nikhil (Siddharth Malhotra) too is interesting because he is so plain. You don’t see such characters in films who are your regular John Doe and yet can keep you interested in how his life goes about. In fact, it is his simple-mindedness that charms you. That and the glimpse of craziness that is stifled by the “system”.

Parineeti and Siddharth play it well together too. From the indifference to the neutral to the confused to the smitten – they convince you through the steps of falling in love. It is the side characters that leave you unconvinced. All but Manoj Joshi overact and make the act borderline slapsticky.

And therein lie the traps that Hasee Toh Phasee falls prey to. There are a few clich√© situations that it finds itself in. But, the point to note here is that the film is set in the middle of a wedding and it is a Karan Johar production and yet things stay more-or-less non-masala. That is the director and writer’s victory.

It is refreshing to watch something different being attempted in as rundown a genre as rom-com. It is refreshing to see the lead female protagonist get something real to do – maybe the technicalities are all over the place but at least she isn’t one of the two extremes tomboy/chirpy-bubbly or demure/shyness incarnate. It is a little disappointing to see her too, make her life about her man. But, then again, maybe that is what love does to you.