The title itself of this rom-com suggests a film made by a team of diehard fans of retro Bollywood music. And more than anything else, Meri Pyaari Bindu is, indeed, a tribute to the rich legacy of Hindi film songs. Both writer, Suprotim Sengupta, and director, Akshay Roy, much like a lot us who were growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, appear to be big time fans of old film songs. For it is these timeless numbers they choose to weave into a tale of love of Bindu (Parineeti Chopra) and Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurrana).
Abhimanyu, a banker turned successful writer of Desi pulp fiction of the types of Chudail Ki Choli, is struggling with a writer’s bloc as for the first time, he is trying to write a love story. As the grappling author waits for his genius to get unlocked, we are led into his one and only love story that started in the ’80s in good old ‘Calcutta’, when he was a little boy and a little girl, Bindu, shifted into his neighboring house. Abhimanyu and Bindu become ‘BFFS’ right from the start and the rest of the film shows us vignettes of this friendship over the three decades that follow.
A good rom-com needs good chemistry and banter between its leads. That, fortunately, Meri Pyaari Bindu gets right. Both lead players play off well opposite each other. Parineeti, in particular, is in crackling form while Ayushmann comfortably slips well into a Mr-Dependable-Who-Will-Always-Be-There mold . Their dialogues are superbly written, have a sense of charm and wit about them, and blend nicely with the characters and overall the atmosphere of the film. As for the rest of the cast, the casting director of the film wins half this battle at the casting stage itself.
But, and a big but, there is a huge downside that all but kills the film. And that is the script. The film, based on what the writer says is “love, love, love”, fails to take off and runs out of steam even before the interval. A flat narrative with no ups and down – akin to driving a car all through in second gear – doesn’t help. The biggest casualty here is the title character. Good as she is, Parineeti, suffers from a character that is boringly uni-dimensional. In the first few scenes, we get to know what she is about and after that, there is more of the same with little character graph or development. It gives the actor nothing to play with, but as it conforms to what she is best at, Parineeti does have her moments. But it is nothing more than a repeat of her earlier spunky, unpredictable and impulsive acts in Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Hasee Toh Phasee (2014). This is doubly disappointing because, in fact, co-producer, Maneesh Sharma’s strengths were the fleshing out of his characters and giving them believable motivations with proper character graphs in his directorial ventures, Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) or Shuddh Desi romance.
With all the great and timeless songs of yesteryear that the film weaves into its narrative, Sachin-Jigar’s music gets totally overshadowed and pushed to the background. Even my personal favorite, Maana Ki Humien Pyaar Nahin, superbly rendered by Parineeti Chopra, falls flat when used as a duet in the climax. The male voice was just not needed and brings down the song, rather than elevate it.
Having said all this, one doesn’t get bored in the film. The lead players’ chemistry, the zingy dialogue and the cool retro atmosphere manages to keeps you going. However in the final analysis, Meri Pyaari Bindu is little more than passing an exam with the help of grace marks. You haven’t failed but you haven’t passed convincingly either. And that is not a good space for any film to be in.
Hindi, Romance, comedy, Drama, Color