He doesn’t have six pack abs. She doesn’t have a size zero body. But Boman Irani and Farah Khan make one of the cutest on-screen couples in their latest venture, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, directed by veteran editor Bela Bhansali Sehgal. The film, a typical love story between two individuals, has a predictable angle in terms of storytelling, but it’s the remarkable chemistry of the two middle-aged Parsi characters, who find love later than most, that takes the cake in this light-hearted romantic comedy.
Farhad Pastakia (Boman Irani) is a single and ready-to-mingle 45-year old salesman at a lingerie shop, a profession he takes great pride in. His doting mother (Daisy Irani) and grandmother (Shammi), however, find this a limiting factor when introducing Farhad to potential brides. Desperate for him to settle down, they take him to matrimonial events and a number of houses, only to be rejected.
All this changes one day when Shirin Fugawala (Farah Khan) walks into his lingerie shop. Farhad falls instantly in love with the cute, bubbly and quirky Shirin. Shirin is a single 40-year old woman who works at the Parsi Trust. As perfect as the match of Shirin and Farhad may be, it’s not exactly smooth sailing for the couple. As with all Bollywood films, there must be a villain. And who better to cast one than a parent? Farhad’s mother, who considers Shirin to be her arch enemy because the latter was responsible for getting the illegal water tank in the former’s house demolished, strictly opposes the relationship and the marriage between her son and his lady love. Matters get worse when Farhad is positioned to pick between his mother and his girlfriend. How the two manage to come of their ordeals and try to make their relationship work with everyone’s approval is how the rest of the film journeys through.
- Boman Irani. One can expect nothing less than an exceptional performance from this actor. He plays the role of Farhad with immense ease, innocence and conviction.
- Farah Khan. A reasonably good attempt for an acting debut. Her loud and ostentatious personality in interviews and on TV shows takes a backseat and she underplays the role of Shirin, while remaining bubbly and endearing.
- Daisy Irani. After a long hiatus from films, she’s back and how. She plays the role of Farhad’s doting mother to the core, simultaneously showing her extreme disapproval of Shirin with equal conviction.
- Shammi. Like Daisy Irani, she hasn’t been seen on the silver screen for a long time, but plays the role of an endearing and loving grandmother exceptionally well; you can’t help but love her.
- The music. With most Bollywood films, the makers use song and dance to carry forward the film (or at least they try to). As with this film, the music didn’t serve much purpose to the plot nor towards carrying the film forward. What’s worse is that the music by Jeet Ganguly, of former Jeet-Pritam duo, isn’t particularly memorable or great as a soundtrack on its own.
- The plot. It’s predictable, it’s typical and it’s kind of boring. It’s your standard Bollywood love story minus the masala. The performance by every character is commendable, but all that can’t save a story with no substance.
- The dialogues. They’re not as catchy or memorable as one would expect them to be. Also, a lot of the funny moments were shown in the trailers and previews, so there wasn’t much left for the audience to laugh with.
I’d give the film a 2.5 out of 5. It was a good attempt at a first film for Bela Sehgal as well as for Farah Khan. Unfortunately, not good or creative enough in terms of plot, of which only Sanjay Leela Bhansali is to blame. With the failure of his last writing venture, Guzaarish, one can’t expect much as far as storytelling is concerned.
The last word:
Farah Khan and Boman Irani make a very endearing on-screen couple who would gather a lot of support from the audience. It’s not too over-the-top, but tries to stick to the typical Bollywood structure of a romantic film. A good one-time watch.