Parineeti, Sidharth Are Unfunny, Inauthentic in ‘Jabariya Jodi’
One feels bad for Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra. It is likely that they got a one word brief to play their respective roles and that too was only their character’s name.
Because why else would reasonably good actors look so awkward and out of place in a film? Babli Yadav is “Bubbly,” you guessed that right, and Abhay Singh is ‘fearless’ as his name suggests. All the poor souls have to play along because despite spending close to two-and-a-half-hours with them one could still not fathom their motivations and desires.
This is a practice prevalent in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where when the bride’s side is unable to cough up money for dowry demands of the ladke wale, grooms are kidnapped and forcibly married off by the ladki walas.
Not the most ideal solution to the menace of dowry, Pakadwa vivah comes with its own set of problems. It could have been a relevant and engaging watch but Director Prashant Singh and writer Sanjeev Jha seem to have run out of ideas after the first 30 minutes.
It all starts in 2005 in Madhopur, Bihar, where we see two little school kids exchange love letters and coy smiles. Angry with their daughter’s indiscretion, the girl’s family leaves the town soon. Cut to adulthood when it doesn’t take much to guess that the little boy is Abhay Singh, the man who facilitates forced marriages by kidnapping the unsuspecting greedy grooms.
The little girl is now, Bubbly, inexplicably only obsessed with her shaadi. She wants to run away with one lover. When he chickens out, she beats him up on live television. Abhay and Bubbly meet one day and instantly recognise each other. They are so purposeless and the narrative is so rudderless that one would ideally want them to immediately consummate the vivah and call it a day.
But alas, we are forced to sit through this 143 minutes ordeal to see them unnecessarily drift apart and come back together. Frankly, it is exasperating.
From portraying it as something funny, to adding nuances of poetic justice and to the sudden shift in tone about how forced marriages are wrong morally and legally — nothing seems convincing. Though some dialogues are funny and Sudhir Mishra playing Babli’s father and Neeraj Sood as her uncle, manage to bring in some authenticity.
Also, Aparshakti Khurana as Bubli’s close friend who is totally in love with her, does well despite a completely half-baked character. But between Javed Jaffrey’s over the top performance as the harsh, menacing patriarch and Siddharth-Parineeti ‘s inconsistent accent the film over all is unfunny and too long for comfort.
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)