“38 B.White.” She says.
He looks at her and says, “I think..36 B.”
When the first conversation between a 45 year old man and 40 something woman opens with a bra size discussion, it is bound to be funny and interesting. So is the movie, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But since it is also a Bhansali produced film, there is a mild dose of melodrama too.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s story,(dialogues co-written by him and Muncher Wadia),directed by sister and editor, Bela Bhansali Sehgal; is like freshly baked bun served with liberal amount of maska, followed by lots of custard at Parsi Dairy. The beautiful chandelier and curtains settings reminds one of Guzaarish and Black and the wonderful solo dances by both Boman Irani and Farah Khan bring back fond memories of Manisha Koirala dancing to “aaj main upar,asmaan neeche” in Khamoshi.
Farhad Pastakiya (Boman Irani) is a salesman at a lingerie shop. He is 45 and as his aunt puts it, he is a “reliable bachelor now, not eligible”. Less naughty, more mushy. His mom (Daisy Irani) tries to fix him up with every available single woman. Farhad’s honesty about his profession comes in the way more than his age until he meets the fiery Shirin Fugawala(Farah Khan).Farah is the secretary of Parsi Trust and keeps settling fights by throwing a few punches herself.
A few charming exchanges later, Farhad falls in love with Shirin though he neither knows her name or number. Filmy moments like these are in plentiful, including the ending. The main leads in their 40s,real in looks, character and performance, balances out the unreal, in keeping with the rom com genre. A somewhat contrived subplot, involving an old eccentric uncle, Feroze who is waiting to propose to Indira Gandhi, makes the otherwise simple and sweet love story somewhat stereotypical. However, the narrative in its simplicity, along with dialogues, is endearing and fun.
Cinematography by Mahesh Aney makes the beautiful Colaba streets and buildings stand out in their grandeur. Music by Jeet Ganguly is pleasant like all Bhansali movies except that Farah lip syncing to Shreya Ghoshal, takes away the conviction. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics entertain as usual with songs like “kukud ku… Daffar mein saala,Karti kya kaam bhi na poocha, Gadhera..”
Boman and Farah are a casting coup together. Farah Khan in her debut performance looks sweeter than lagan nu custard, is more graceful than Madhuri Dixit in her moves and has a fantastic sense of timing despite her flat dialogue delivery. Her demure smiles and emotional scenes makes one forget her real life avatar as a no-nonsense director and choreographer. Boman manages to slip into vulnerability with total ease as a 45 year old henpecked son who can make one cry even while mouthing simple lines like, ”You like red and I like white.” Daisy Irani and Shammiji as mom and grand mom are delightful together.
Bela Bhansali Sehgal as a debut director, is quite skilful in tying in simplicity, honesty, humour and emotion. Watch the film for a scooter car joyride and head for a coffee shop in Colaba. Book a table for two with chandeliers above. You don’t have to be 40 and naughty.