Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: Love’s Labour Lost

The film has a somewhat slow and shaky beginning that thankfully settles down delightfully after the first mandatory song. The movie is a sequel to ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ which released in 2011 and has much of the original cast, barring two new male leads and of course, follows pretty much the same story line too, namely, how unreasonable the ladies can be in matters of the heart!

Gogo a.k.a. Anshul (Kartik Aaryan) Chauka a.k.a. Siddharth (Sunny Singh) and Tarun Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) are three bachelor friends who live together. While Gogo meets Chiku (Nushrat Bharucha) and Chauka meets Supriya (Sonalli Sehgall) at the same wedding, Tarun meets his ladylove Kusum (Ishita Raj) at the gym. Cupid strikes and the boys are blissfully in love – but this is not a tale that ends happily ever after, as they soon discover. Chiku is unable to let go of her best friend, a male, Sunny (Manvir Singh) which bothers Gogo a lot, while Supriya is unable to stand up to her father, who arranges a match for her. Tarun is sorely beleaguered, as his money-greedy girlfriend also keeps trying to create mischief between him and his friends. In the end, all the boys decide this love-shove scene is not for them and that the only real McCoy is “maa ka pyaar” (go figure this angle!) and so the movie ends with all of them sobbing into their beers and calling up their mommas.

Many of the scenes are a sad reflection of today’s times and the new-age interpretation of “love” or “romance,” i.e. pre-marital sex, or the belly dance, male strip tease and then full lip lock on the first date! As a salute to the good old days, there is a cassette player providing the music, though!

None of the female leads are what one would call strictly good looking, but that actually works in their favour as they are not the typical, interchangeable, plastic Bollywood dolls. Bharucha does a credible job as the somewhat vacuous bimbette. Although Singh and Kapoor are new to this team, there is a palpable chemistry and camaraderie between the three men, even better than the original male cast. Kapoor is a tad stiff and wooden and needs to relax his facial muscles. Singh is an absolute natural and dances with abandon; although not from the cookie-cutter, chocolate boy mould, there is something quite manly about him. What a diatribe that monologue was – and almost without drawing breath too! And once again, Aaryan delivers it effortlessly and believably.

Time and time again, small budget films with realistic portrayals go to show that they have a team that works with realistic mind frames as well. The casting in ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2’ (Vicky Sadanha) is virtually spot on. Editing (Akiv Ali) was competent, although it could have been tauter pre-interval. However, the dialogues and the three boys and their expressions keep things zipping along. Dialogues are credited to Rahul Mody, Tarun Jain and Luv Ranjan – for the first time in a long while, a story/dialogue collaboration has paid off, as the writers are in complete sync. Luv Ranjan wears many hats; apart from being one of the writers, he also wields the director’s baton and has dabbled with the music too. Most of the songs, while not exactly being chartbusters, are peppy, notably, ‘Sharaabi’ with music as well as vocals by Sharib-Toshi and some nifty choreography by Bosco-Caesar. The background score is absolutely thrumming – Hitesh Sonik, take a bow. Cinematography is by Sudhir K Choudhary; I must commend him on the shots of Krabi island in Thailand. He has captured the essence of the spectacular seascape here very well. Sets (Aashish Porwal) were a bit of a let-down, as everybody seemed to have really snazzy homes.

All in all, ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2’ is worth watching – and you won’t end up doing a postmortem on the movie, either!

*This review is written exclusively for The Film Writers Association of India.

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