Cast: Parvathy, Irrfan Khan
Director: Tanuja Chandra
Qarib Qarib Singlle presents to us Irrfan Khan in a new avatar. He plays this desi bloke, whose clothes are as loud and obnoxious as his personality; you know the nonchalant guy who gives life lessons through his simplistic outlook towards life…yeah something that Irrfan has never done before! And that’s true only if strong bouts of amnesia attack our tiny brains erasing names like Hindi Medium, Dil Kabbadi and Life in a Metro.
He is so good in such roles that you can wake him up in the middle of the night and he would arey bhai you in his signature conversational style and sell chota recharge to you in the same breath. Ha! Irrfan, we love you but we some variety might help. Qarib Qarib Singlle thankfully presents to us a new idea of beauty and talent in Parvathy who is such a refreshing change in the crowd of mannequins disguising as actors. She portrays Jaya’s excitement of going on a date, her indecisiveness of traveling with a stranger and the heartbreak of having lost a dear one so beautifully that you are fully involved in her world.
The premise of traveling with a stranger looks unconvincing but the leading pair makes it believable. There is a beautiful scene where Jaya is called a stepney aunt by a dear friend who nudges her to chat with her online date and travel with him. The film abounds with such slice of life scenes. They are both written and enacted so well that you relate to it.
Jaya and Yogi’s relationship spans across three stages; friendship, jealousy and a sense of care and belonging. While the first stage of their relationship is done well with heart-warming characters like Radha against the scenic beauty of Dehradun, the rest of the phases seem both muddled and hurried. Pushtiie Shakti who appears for a few minutes as Radha is simply fantastic. She is the same girl who played Mahi in Yash Raj’s famous TV show Mahi Way.
Her smile, her dialogue delivery is rooted in small town India and she brings a lot of charm, goodness and a humorous foil to Jaya-Yogi’s friendship. The second half though, takes the much beaten route where other potential partners for Jaya and Yogi come in to create jealousy. The scenes look a tad unconvincing especially when Jaya pops in three sleeping pills and doesn’t sleep but hops around like a drunk, delirious girl, making it one of the sloppiest scenes in the movie.
Even the climax doesn’t address the main problem. Jaya has some valid issues to sort out with Yogi that remains unexplored and unexplained before the couple finally comes together. Qarib Qarib Singlle is not something that you haven’t seen before. It works primarily for a few beautifully written scenes with a stellar leading pair that lends a lot of credibility to the characters they play. Besides, the film also captures North and East India beautifully.
It takes you to Dehradun, Delhi, Jaipur and Sikkim and it’s a treat to the eyes. I so badly wish the film had a stronger second half because there was so much going on for this interesting take on relationships.