Film: "Pyaar ka Punchnama 2"
Cast: Omkar Kapoor, Sunny Singh, Kartik Aaryan, Ishita Raj, Sonnalli Seygall, Nushrat Bharucha, Sharat Saxena, Mona Ambegaonkar
Director: Luv Ranjan;
Just like "Tanu Weds Manu Returns" created an impact like the original, "Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2" is an equally scaled up rom-com, constructed on the same template of its earlier 2011 edition, except that it has more punch and flavour this time.
The three Delhi-based friends Karan Thakur, Siddharth and Anshu aka Gogo are once again looking out for true love.
Siddharth meets Supriya in Meerut when he goes for a family wedding, Gogo meets Ruchika Khanna at a pub when she is partying with her friends and Thakur meets Kusum at the gym.
Soon the girlfriends take over the lives of their men with their characteristic traits.
Supriya with her constant pouting, "Tu mujhe trust karta hai na?" Similarly, Kusum with her, "I don't agree, non-negotiable... I hate taking favours from others". And the flighty Ruchika, paying more attention to her phone and her friends than to Anshul, making him cringe.
"Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2" is their predictable journey. But what elevates this excursion, is writer-director Ranjan's brilliantly taut and racy script, which is co-written by Rahul Mody and Tarun Jain. They give a fresh perspective to the same issues tackled in the earlier film.
The dialogues are replete with wittily drafted rhetoric one-liners and the highlight is Anshul's breathless monologue that lasts for more than four minutes.
The often bleeped cuss words in the dialogues, enforced by the Central Board of Film Certification, mar the viewing experience.
Though the script is formulaic and predictable in structure, the theme and the plot of the tale is nearly the same, nothing much has changed except for the visual presentation and the sub-plots. Here the visuals are more glossy with an added tinge of skin-show and noteworthy performances.
Every character is distinct, well etched and painstakingly crafted. The trio's demeanour initially seems a bit lewd and crass, but gradually as the narration progresses, they grow on you and you accept them with their frailties.
As all the women are portrayed as flawed characters with specific irritating traits, the resultant gender bias is evident. Luckily, these traits are well ironed out and presented, making the characters and situations believable.
The songs punctuate the narration effectively, especially the one with the lyrics "Ohre Ohre moorakh, Ohre Ohre kaab tak."
Sudhir K. Chaudhary's brilliant camera work with provocative angles lingers voyeuristically, initially. But soon settles to capture the drama in their lives.
Certain scenes seem inspired by the English "Lemon Popsicle" series that hit the video circuit in the early 1980s. But nevertheless, the star of "Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2" is its original writing.