Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: Lafangey Parindey

Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Piyush Mishra, Kay Kay Menon
Rating: **1/2

Much of Lafangey Parindey suffers from the same problem that the director’s last film, Laga Chunri Mein Daag had. A seemingly serious subject, with plenty of dramatic and life-altering events is treated in fast-forward mode, with no real character and narrative build up. You are cursorily introduced to a Mumbai chawl, where Nandu (Neil Nitin Mukesh) fights blind-folded every Friday for local goon Usman bhai (a superb Piyush Mishra). He is called ‘One shot Nandu’, because that is all it takes him to demolish his opponent. Anna (Kay Kay Menon in a guest appearance) works closely with Usman, and tries to keep Nandu away from the crime scene. However, on Usman’s prodding Nandu agrees to participate in a shoot-out, which goes all wrong. Anna is shot dead, and in the same incident Nandu ends up running over a girl, who strangely turns blind!

The girl in question is Pinki (Deepika Padukone), an aspiring dancer and ace skater from his chawl. An ambitious go-getter, she’s always desired to win a reality talent show that would enable her to change her fate (Rab Ne..?) Feeling guilty, Nandu offers to help Pinki, and soon falls for her. The rest of the film hinges on the predictable question of how Pinki will react when she knows the truth.
The thing you instantly notice is the overuse of the tapori lingo, and some crude lines. Looks like Yash Raj decided to take a break from their ultra-sanitised dialogues for this one.

The film has a bit from both Ghulam and Tum Bin in terms of story. There is an emotional core to this film, which could have been explored better. The narrative never seems to pause enough to allow the characters to reflect on their actions and feelings. This is one of the main failings of the film, which otherwise had some potential. For instance, Deepika’s accident, her entering into coma, and quickly again wanting to participate in the reality competition is all too sudden.
The other weakness is the performance of Neil Nitin Mukesh. He lets himself get buried into the setting, and his act is so reticent and expressions so limited, you don’t know what to make of his performance really. Sure, he has the appeal of a gentle, well-meaning man, which is important for the character, but one really wishes he had pitched his character a bit more strongly. His lack of expressions doesn’t sufficiently convey his emotions, especially ones where he starts to fall in love with Deepika.

On the plus side, the film’s treatment by Sarkar feels quite fresh. Unlike Laaga...which seemed quite superficial, Lafangey Parindey has more heart. The narrative takes the predictable twists and turns, but the premise of the Pinki-Nandu relationship is interesting enough to keep you mildly curious.
Deepika Padukone is easily the star-actor here, and it’s her character that holds the film together. Tomboyish and embodying a never-die-spirit, the actress has certainly improved compared to her previous films and she brings a level of believability to her character.

The other wonderful performance is from Piyush Mishra, and one has to applaud the writers for making him a flesh and blood villain. His last interaction with Nandu where he explains his point of view is especially a gem.
As it stands, Lafangey Parindey is a decent watch, but it feels like a film comprising only of highlights. It’s like a bird which sporadically flutters its wings, but never quite takes flight.


Anonymous rooney said...

i guess sandy with a good direction and maybe narration this could have been good subject is quite good, compare to other yrf stuff where u just dont have tale..

its a tale of redemption.. any such tale told with heart and good moments ought to succeed but feel poorly for sarkar.. there was a time during parineeta.. where we felt for his characters.. now dont know what has happened.. will avoid it..

August 22, 2010 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous sandhya said...

hey rooney - agree it wasn't a lost case to begin with - but the story and characters needed more depth.

August 23, 2010 at 3:40 AM  
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