‘De De Pyaar De’ review: Despite stunning performances by Tabu in the movie, hard-to-digest for middle class.
Film: De De Pyaar De Cast– Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Alok Nath, Rakul Preet Singh, Jimmy Shergill Director: Akiv Ali Rating- ****(3.5/5)
This bittersweet romantic comedy, directed by Akiv Ali, revolves around a well-preserved investment broker, Mehra, 50, who begins dating a gorgeous, gregarious 26-year-old engineer Ayesha, who moonlights as a waitress on weekends in London. The film truly takes off when a seasoned actor like her steps in and shakes things around, especially when the events on screen careen dangerously towards a syrupy, melodramatic love story about an old dude and his perfectly coiffured and maintained girlfriend. Their whirlwind courtship loses its sheen after the first 20 minutes.
The eventful second half that sees Mehra’s skeletons from the past tumble out is a riot. Jimmy Shergill as a bespectacled smarmy suitor for Manju is a hoot, but tainted actor Alok Nath’s (who has been battling sexual misconduct claims) comic antics leave a bitter aftertaste.
This oddball couple live in a romantic bubble filled with pillow fights, smoothie-blending and intimate massages. But their idyllic existence gets a rap when man-child Mehra returns home to India to introduce his sprightly partner to his estranged ex-wife Manju and kids, who are closer to his lover’s age.
Tabu’s turn as the unflappable and level-headed Manju is an absolute knockout and she dwarfs other key players with her commanding screen presence. The meet-the-ex-wife/surly kids/grumpy in-laws episode gets murkier by the minute.
While majority of the film is immensely entertaining, a few twists in the second half seem labored and bizarre. But before it turned ludicrous, director Ali manages to rein things in. The film maturely handles a few touchy topics like divorce, live-ins and age-inappropriate romance, without getting too overbearing. At the end, if you take this film for what it is, you’ll probably enjoy it, which is – frivolous fun; but with this caliber of the cast, it’s a little disappointment.
Overall the film may not take you wiser in Love, but it does tell you that loving someone can be a messy affair and gloriously complicate.