After Lafangey Parindey
failed to take off at the box office, the Chopras appear to have decided not to tread untested grounds, and to return to their well-tried (oh so well tried) concoction of lavish weddings in the backdrop of north-Indian cultural revelry. The result is a frothy, feel-good movie, though not with much substance.
Shruti Kakkar (Anushka Sharma) has her eyes set on becoming a wedding-planner. Armed with a 3-year part-time experience, she has the blueprint of her company "Shaadi Mubarak" ready, with one golden rule in it: "Jisse vyapaar karo, usse kabhi na pyaar karo." In comes Bittoo Sharma, who, after a failed attempt at hitting on Shruti, decides to pair up with her in business instead, to escape from his father's not-so-grand plans for him - becoming a farmer.
The duo hits it off in the wedding business with their smart networking skills, and with Bittoo's talent for manufacturing cheesy lines spontaneously winning over clients. What follows is a one-track, vibrant and boisterous tribute to the great Indian wedding, replete with songs, dance, choruses and the works.
In the midst of all the bonhomie, it's Shruti who goes astray and ends up sleeping with Bittoo, and eventually falls in love with him, too. Bittoo, not liking the emotional twist in business, starts acting weird, and before long, Shruti realises that it was just a one-night stand for him. She feigns normalcy for sometime, but soon her hurt feelings raise their hood, and she starts snapping at Bittoo for almost everything.
After some cat-dog fight sequences in which the two snarl and pounce at each other, they split their business, and Bittoo starts his own company, "Happy Wedding".They soon realise that their magic was in their team, and after ruining a few marriages, they decide to come together for the big wedding of the daughter of a business magnate.
Anushka Sharma impresses as the confident and spirited creative head, and Ranveer Singh arrives as a full-fledged actor in his debut film. With his craggy looks, he suits the role of the uncouth, happy-go-lucky hero to a T, whose poor mastery over English does not come in the way of his running a successful "bijness".
Whether they are mouthing quick repartees or hurling abuses at each other, the lead pair have their chemistry shine through, and provide the best moments in the film. The mature Shruti with a responsible business sense makes a perfect foil for the impulsive Bittoo.
Though supported by an able cast and good writing, Band Baaja Baraat is unlikely to set the cash registers ringing because it just presents old wine in a new bottle. In an age when film-makers are going the extra mile to dig up novel concepts to feed to an increasingly choosy audience, the movie invokes memories of numerous films from the Chopra camp itself. Also, the film lacks the starpower of a Shahrukh or a Rani which would have drawn fans to the theatre.
The music by Salim-Sulaiman is strictly average, and the songs stay with you only when they are being played on screen. Aseem Mishra's cinematography, however, is top-notch, bringing to life the colour-palette and flamboyance of Indian weddings in every frame.
If you are in the mood for a no-brainer entertainer with a pretty heroine and a street-smart hero, and have not received enough marriage invitations this season, you can kill a couple of hours watching this.