Directed by: Jugal Hansraj
Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Uday Chopra, Dino Morea and Anupam Kher
I remember this time last year it was freezing cold in London and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire in a cinema that was just as cold as the pavement outside. As I rushed to the cinema to make it to Pyaar Impossible (which was not at my regular cinema but instead in a massive central London cinema where I went to the premiere of Chandni Chowk To China – ah the memories!) I hoped that history was not about to repeat itself – at least not in terms of my viewing environment. Dashing into an empty cinema with only two other persons in there (who it turned out I knew! Birds of a feather etc) I made it to the start of the film just in time. PI has a lot going for it – not only is it Yashraj’s first offering of the year but also sees something of an acid test for Priyanka Chopra – we saw that she could get a good opening initial at the box office with Fashion – would the same happen for PI?
PI is the story of Abhay (Uday Chopra) a geek who is in love with Alisha (Priyanka Chopra) a popular and beautiful girl who studies at the same university. Unfortunately for Abhay, Alisha doesn’t even know he exists and he continues to love her from afar. But things take a turn when Abhay rescues Alisha from drowning after a drunken night – Alisha is rusticated from the university and has no idea who saved her. Abhay resigns himself to never seeing Alisha again and puts his love on the back-burner. Seven years later, after being conned by a unscrupulous salesman, Abhay heads to Singapore to get back what has been stolen from him – and ends up falling into Alisha’s life in unusual circumstances…
PI is a sweet film and from the outset, is more about the journey of the characters rather than the destination. Technically, it is a smooth product, with simple editing, and a very understated feel – the film never feels loud and is easy on the eye. The script is simple and thematically, has many similarites to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi – we have the common man being accepted for who and what he is, using his own merit to achieve what he wants and facing setbacks in the first half that are resolved in the second. This is by no means a criticism though – the film is quite likeable due to this aspect and Jugal Hansraj’s direction suits this quite well. I also liked the fact that this film was family friendly and the songs didn’t interfere with the narrative too much.
To be honest, this is a very amiable film and one that is very easy to watch – a little too easy. I normally concentrate fully on my films but found I was able to send text messages, open my snacks and still follow the film without any problems (then again, I hadn’t expected the film to be very taxing so there was no worries on that front!) – things that I would never consider doing when watching a film. One thing that did keep distracting me though in a good way was the styling in the film, Priyanka looks gorgeous in hot pants and baby doll dresses though the film did feel a bit dated because of it – it clearly was her Fashion/Dostana look but this is a minor gripe as she still looks fabulous in whatever she wears and every inch the Yashraj heroine.
Similarly, Priyanka’s performance is simple and committed, playing the role to the full capacity the script allows. Whether it is as the carefree college girl or the divorced single mother, Priyanka is believable and rises up to the challenge of carrying the film on her shoulders. Uday gives a good performance as the geek, though he does a play it a little too safe but he manages to evoke sympathy for the character and largely manages to resist making it an out and out comedy appearance. Dino is satisfactory in his role and plays it by numbers which works well for the film though he did have an opportunity to stand out here. Anupam Kher gives an effortless comic performance as Abhay’s father and really walks through it with his eyes closed – but despite this, its still a great performance.
It’s hard to review a film like Pyaar Impossible – it would be so easy to run down the film and say it offers nothing new and all the usual other gripes.I certainly don’t envy the film coming on the heels of the juggernaut that is 3 Idiots which even a much stronger film than Pyaar Impossible would find a difficult act to follow. I would say if you are a fan of Priyanka Chopra, like rom-coms or in the mood for a film that really isn’t difficult to watch, then this is for you. Otherwise, this may be enjoyed more on DVD or even on TV. Not an ideal start to the yearin Bollywood but not the worst either…