Friday, May 24, 2019

Of love and loving again
Movie Review: De De Pyar De

Of love and loving again

17 May 2019 | 4:23 PM

Film: De De Pyaar De

Director: Akiv Ali

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rakul Preet Singh, Jimmy Shergill, Kumud Mishra, Alok Nath, Javed Jaffrey, Sunny Singh

[ + read story ]

Nonika Singh

Bollywood is so bloody used to middle-aged heroes romancing girls half their age. Only here the hero Ashish (Ajay Devgn) is middle aged, both in real and reel life. And yes, his love interest is Aisha (Rakul Preet Singh), young enough to be his daughter. 

Yawning age difference is not exactly the stuff only celluloid reality is made of, even though Cheeni Kum explored the age gap rather delectably. But ‘De De Pyar De’ also reminds us of live examples; Saif and Kareena too among others such as Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.  

‘De De…’cast in classic Luv Ranjan style, treats the subject with a lightness of touch. Ranjan, by the way, is not the director of this film but the producer and story writer. And before the feminist brigade once again raises its flags against him, well there is no gold digger in sight here. Even though, women marrying for money, tells us Javed Jaffrey in a brief part of a shrink, is hardly surprising. Ranjan, perhaps, is aware of the misogynist tag that often comes his way thanks to his blockbusters (‘Pyar Ka Panchnaama’ and ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’), which have been essentially of bromance and male point of view. No wonder, he can’t resist throwing the word misogynist at us.

However, except for a couple of dialogues that Tabu utters close to the end and the not so subtle comparison of women to cars, there is little that progressives can take objection to. Ladies here are women of substance, especially Tabu’s character who stands up for her ex-husband, even when his parents wouldn’t. 

Separated husband and wife can be civil to each other is one of the many redeeming points of this delightful film. 

While you can trust Tabu to elevate the film to another level and she does with remarkable emotional intensity as well as consummate ease, Rakul Preet is effective as well. She looks lovely and hot for sure. 

Confident lass she mirrors varying emotions of a young girl in love with a man elder to her by more than two decades rather beautifully. Fully aware of how her elderly lover will have to repeat many a thing he has done before if they tie the knot, she says the dialogues, “Phir se wahi galtyiaan dohraani padengi” with just the right degree of heartfelt honesty.  

Devgn may not look debonair but carries his part with understated earnestness. And one of Ranjan’s favourites Sunny Singh brings maximum smiles. Even if his presence is limited to a few minutes his spontaneity and play of ‘uncle’ is unmatched. 

Actually the first half set in picturesque London where 50-year- old Ashish cavorts 26- year-old Aisha is a breeze. 

The second half is devoted to a web of familial relationships. Expectedly we are on familiar ground and a few clichés do abound. The daughter hates her father, missing in her life for several years. Jimmy Shergill in a special appearance once again lives up to his ‘suitor in eternal pursuit’ image. 

Certainly, post interval as the scene shifts to India, idyllic Kullu to be precise, the storyline does open many fronts. From championing live-in, to exes catching up to some barely disguised rivalry between the two heroines and its basic theme of age gap, there is much to handle here. Yet, the director manages to tie it up all well. 

Without sermonising, it brings the dynamics of modern age relationships alive in a light-hearted and frothy manner. With a couple of Punjabi songs, including chartbuster Holi Holi Giddhe Vich, roped in for their irrepressible beat and feeling, the final takeaway may not be incisive and insightful but De De…is a pleasurable watch for sure.

The only downer is Alok Nath. His ignominy post ‘MeToo’ movement should have ensured his exit.

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