Monday, May 23, 2011

Pyaar ka Punchnama: The boys pack a punch

At the music launch of Luv Ranjan’s directorial debut film Pyaar ka Punchnama (PKP), Ajay Devgn (who was one of the chief guests) summed up the movie in a single statement “This is a film about frustrated guys made by frustrated guys”. This observation by Devgn pretty much sums up this film which comes as a breath of fresh air and actually entertains the audience (even the multiplex snobs) enough to make them clap, whistle and hoot; especially throughout the first half.

There is one thing common between Ranjan’s PKP and Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat and that is the approach they employ towards their subject using the protagonists. While Rao’s Dhobi Ghat has characters that encapsulate almost the entire spectrum of people living in Mumbai (which is the actual hero of her film) Ranjan’s PKP dissects the majority of modern-day relationships using the female protagonists as the alibi. Though touted as ‘laugh-till-your-belly-aches-fare’, this film looks at relationships seriously, albeit from the boys’ point of view.

PKP doesn’t tell us something that we have never heard about, especially about the boys vs girls debate. There have been scores of email forwards, SMS jokes and everything else in between that takes digs at the girls’ way of looking at relationships and life in general. What works for Ranjan is the fact that he has put together all the available material in the form of a cohesive story without actually saying that all women are evil. He puts it across in a balanced way where both boys and girls have their grey shades. If the girl is manipulating the guy for her needs, the guy has his agenda in place too.

In an attempt to make a ‘safe’ film Ranjan has packed in some songs which actually dampen the tempo of the otherwise crisp film. Not that the songs are bad it’s only that they take away from the realistic nature of how the boys and girls go about their lives. May be it was the producers call to make money from ring tones etc, but that is completely pardonable for a film of this nature, as it doesn’t aim to be a Dhobi Ghat in the first place.

What stands out in this film is the character graph of the guys. They all begin with being typical beer guzzling, abusive brats and the moment the girls find their ways into their lives, they are changed men. The expletives are replaced by the cheesy and how their priorities in life go for a toss. Ranjan brings forward these subtleties without making much fuss about it, but he does employ a comic signature tune to highlight how the guys are reacting differently. That does help the audience understand the joke and the reaction is something which very few films in recent times have been able to incite.

Any review of this film will remain incomplete without a mention of the monologue delivered by Kartik (who plays the cutesy lover boy Rajat aka Rajjo) and Divyendu (who plays the character called Liquid) who manages to bring the house down every time he opens his mouth. PKP is worth a watch, especially with your beer buddies and then maybe you could go out for a round of beer or two. Watching this film with the girl in your life might lead you to sleeping on the couch for a few days at least. Cheers!

You have been warned.

P.S.: Tumhaara mann na ho matlab? What are you talking about? Aisa kabhi hota hai kya? Hota hai kya?

P.S. 2: Is happy woman a myth?