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Shaadi Ke Side Effects - Saibal Chatterjee - The Sunday Indian
 
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Shaadi Ke Side Effects

 

Not quite made in heaven
SAIBAL CHATTERJEE | New Delhi, March 7, 2014 15:39
Tags : Shaadi Ke Side Effects | Farhan Akhtar | Vidya Balan | Vir Das | Ram Kapoor | Gautami Kapoor | Rati Agnihotri | Ila Arun | Purab Kohli | Saket Chaudhary |
 

The two protagonists of Shaadi Ke Side Effects are likeable enough. The many vexations that they encounter in trying to keep their relationship on an even keel do yield a few genuinely funny moments.

And the lead actors, Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan, are steadily effective as a very-much-in-love married couple struggling to retain their passion for each other through thick and thin.

With so much going for it, Shaadi Ke Side Effects, director Saket Chaudhary’s second film, should have been an outright winner. It isn’t. It is marred by an uneven and tepid screenplay that blows hot and cold until it runs completely out of breath and collapses from fatigue.

One essential component of an effective marital comedy is the ability to spring surprises and provide new insight on complex dynamics of the man-woman relationship. Shaadi Ke Side Effects does neither.

That is not to say that the film is completely unwatchable. Far from it. On account of the reasons cited upfront in this review, it is mildly amusing in parts although its central plot point – an aspiring musician drifts apart from his adwoman-wife after the birth of a child and seeks to reconnect with his bachelor days with disastrous results – lacks the intrinsic spark needed to propel an entire film forward.

The first few minutes of Shaadi Ke Side Effects do arouse a degree of interest, but the film goes downhill pretty quickly because the attempts in the first half to squeeze humour out of scenes of domestic chaos fall flat.

The second half is decidedly livelier as more characters are thrown into the mix. As the hero tries a trick or two to inject some excitement into his life, he only manages to tie himself up in knots.

The denouement is as contrived as they come – the wife puts her man’s loyalty to the test with a lie of her own, an act that reduces the guy into an emotional wreck.

Apart from the fact that the entire story is told from the standpoint of the man, the undoing of Shaadi Ke Side Effects is the dubious pop psychology it peddles in the name of a ‘formula’ for a happy marriage.

Hollywood has tried its hand at romantic comedy that begins where most other films of the genre end – marriage. In 1988, John Hughes made She is Having a Baby. More recently, we were treated to I Give It a Year.

In Shaadi Ke Side Effects, the couple isn’t exactly a pair of newlyweds, but the film takes a bit from both of the above films and adds a dash of desi garnishing to the concoction.

If not exactly unappetizing, the side effects of all the labour here are rather like a spread gone cold.


Director: Saket Chaudhary

Cast:  Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan, Vir Das, Ram Kapoor, Gautami Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri, Ila Arun, Purab Kohli

Rating:5/10

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017