Amidst the negative reviews pouring from all the corners, I still went ahead to watch Shaandaar with a little ray of ‘hope’ for the love of ‘Phantoms’ (Production house known for churning out magnificent quality films from the inception).
The result is, I came out a bit happier but not completely ‘awestruck’.
Set in the English Countryside, Arora Family run by Mummyji (Played by Sushma Seth) and Bling loving Sindhi tycoon family run by Harry Fundwani (Played by Sanjay Kapoor) descend upon a lovely castle to celebrate the marriage of Isha Arora (Sanah Kapoor) plumpy granddaughter of Mummyji and Robin (Vikas Verma),a self-worshipping misogynistic beefcake brother of Harry. For the rivals, it’s nothing more than a business deal to recuperate from bankruptcy.
This glamor event is managed by Wedding planner Jagjinder Joginder – JJ (Shahid Kapoor) along with his associate Sonia (Shibani Dandekar). JJ falls in love with Alia Arora (Alia Bhatt), feisty younger sister of Isha who is actually a waif adopted by her father Bipin (Pankaj Kapoor) with a secret hidden from every soul. It’s a Disney-fied version of ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun’ (A film that had set a perfect backdrop for romance to bloom at the Sibling’s wedding event) and it’s indeed sad to see Director Vikas Bahl settle on a run-of-the-mill story over unusual story to tell.
Shaandaar is blessed with some nicely written characters who are kickass from the word go – Bossy Mummyji, who appears as the Desi Cruella, bark orders and finds comfort in keeping everyone on her toes, Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor), a gentle soul pretending to be rough-n-tough until his devil mom come into the picture.
Alia and JJ are insomniacs who boost their romance at the dead of night triggering the comic wit war between Bipin and JJ.
Isha is a happy-go-lucky soul and a complete foodie until she comes face to face with reality she was never confronted before, her obesity. Meanwhile fiancee Robin is a goofy beefcake who cannot see anything beyond his eight and a half pack. I immensely enjoyed the first half and found myself cheering more often.
What bothered me the most is the writers concentrates more on Alia and Shahid’s warm chemistry & underestimating Isha’s struggle with her personality and her reluctant approach towards her marriage. The makers seem to forget that idea behind making the film was to celebrate the idea of turning an ordinary life into extraordinary with simple act of love and to appreciate one’s existence regardless of shape and therein lies the biggest failure.
Vikas Bahl’s script is let down by an incoherent treatment and performance is more or less nice from the cast especially from Alia Bhatt and Sanah Kapoor (registering a greater impact, wish she had more screentime). Amit Trivedi’s music is foot-tapping but ill-placed with no connection with the proceeding.
There is a strange scene where the families, high on mushroom and brownies, lose their mind and do strange things and creepier than an alcoholic. Shaandaar is equally a strange film confused by which idea to accelerate.
Watch the film with low expectations and ensure you get rid of the ‘Queen’ hangover to avoid getting more disappointed.