Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Pyaar Ka Punchnama: Boys pack a punch

At the music launch of Luv Ranjan’s directorial debut Pyaar Ka Punchnama (PKP), Ajay Devgn (who was one of the chief guests) summed up the movie in a single statement: “This is a film about frustrated guys made by frustrated guys”. This observation pretty much sums up the film, which comes as a breath of fresh air and entertains the audience (even the multiplex snobs) enough to make them clap, whistle and hoot, especially through the first half.

There is something in common between PKP and Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat – the approach towards the subject using the protagonists. While Dhobi Ghat has characters that encapsulate almost the entire spectrum of people living in Mumbai (the actual hero of the film), PKP dissects modern-day relationships using female protagonists. Though touted as ‘laugh-till-your-belly-aches’ fare, the film looks at relationships seriously, albeit from the boys’ point of view.
PKP doesn’t say something new, especially on the boys vs girls debate. There have been scores of digs taken at the girls’ way of looking at relationships and at life in general. What works is that all the available material has been put together as a cohesive story without actually saying that all women are evil; both boys and girls have grey shades. If the girl is manipulating the guy for her needs, the guy has his agenda in place too.
In an attempt to make a ‘safe’ film, Ranjan has packed in songs which actually slow the tempo of the otherwise crisp film. The songs themselves are not bad, but they take away from the realism of how the boys and girls go about their lives.
What stands out is the character graph of the boys. They all begin as beer guzzling, abusive brats; the moment the girls arrive, they are changed men. The expletives are replaced by cheesy lines on how priorities in life suddenly are different. Ranjan highlights these moments subtly, but does employ a comic signature tune to show them off.
The monologue delivered by Kartik (cutesy lover boy Rajat aka Rajjo) and the character of Divyendu (who plays Liquid), who manages to bring the house down every time he opens his mouth, makes the film more watchable. PKP is worth a dekko, especially with your beer buddies. Taking the girl in your life along may have you sleeping on the couch for a few days. Cheers!



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