Opposites attract, and sometimes distract. You know that
already. Now, the USP of this road movie is the fact that it elects to pick on
a twosome who arenât exactly in the flush of their youth. Whoa, theyâreÂ even long in the tooth. And thank the lord
for that. Any which way, the middle-aged duo manage to exude that lost quality
called joie de vivre. Or the lust for life. Nice.
So, voila. Director Tanuja Chandra returns after a hiatus
of a decade with Qarib Qarib Singlle (donât ask me why the extrra âlâ in the
Single), to check out the more positive aspects of online dating â and maybe
who knows? â soulmating.
Clearly a sensitive directorial style alloyed with wryly
humorous touches, had to be employed for the dramatury. Devoid of melodrama and
quick-fix solutions for the situation of two disparate personalities looking
for companionship and some more, QQS is a welcome change from the funky formula
fantasies which clog the multiplexes week after week. Cheers.
Let me qualify the elation, however, with the proviso:
alas, the story is papyrus thin and does run out of steam as the journey of
Yogi (Irrfan Khan) andÂ Jaya (Parvathy
Thiruvothu) progresses. Plus the backstory of the widowed working woman, Jaya,
does give you an insight into her heart and mind. By contrast, Yogi, a poet, a
jabberwocky gababout with deep pockets and a fashion disaster to boot, is just
meant to be roguishly likeable. What makes him the way he is, go figure for
Anyway our Mr Chalk and Ms Cheddar connect online, meet up
for coffee (better latte than never, is the message here) and in order to
sparkle up the script, plan to travel through Rishikesh, Jaipur and Sikkim. Not
entirely believable that, but what the heck, stranger things do transpire in
the movies, donât they?
Next: in the course of the picaresque plot, our Yogi and
Jaya meet up with old flames, deal with unusual suspects, and instincitively
hope for an escape from the humdrum. Glum theyâre not, despite Ms Jayaâs
uptight nature. Truth be told, you do wonder what if the roles had been
reversed, showing the man to be a stuffed shirt and the woman, to be a
no-holds-barred extrovert. Or would that have been a reprise of Jab We Met?
Never you mind such errant thoughts on my part. After
all, hereâs a feelwonderful, life-affirming endeavour. The outcomeâs fluidly
photographed by Eeshit Narain and smartly edited by Chandan Arora. Frequently,
the zestful spirit is enhanced by Gazal Dhaliwalâs dialogue, especially when it
comes to shooting funny one-liners.
The supporting acting crew including Neha Dhupia, Isha
Sharwani and Luke Kenny deliver the goods efficiently.
The Kerala-based Parvathy Thiruvothu, avoids the glamour
route for an endearingly lifelike performance. In real life sheâs 29, going on
35 here. As always, Irrfan Khan is more than capable of springing up pleasant
surprises, in this case displaying masterly comic timing. His wardrobe, though,
makes your eyes boggle. Undoubtedly, the 50-year-old actor going on 40 for this
role, is in terrific form.
With all its pros and cons,Â thereâs no harm in getting qarib qarib to
this one, whether youâre singlle or doublle.