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Subhash K Jha on the up-side effects of love

Published: Monday, September 18, 2006, 14:52 [IST]


Still from Pyaar Ke Side EffectsCast: Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Ranveer Shorey

Story
Sid, that's Rahul Bose meets Trisha, a.k.a Mallika The Sherawat, in extremely trying circumstances. She's trying to escape an undesirable marriage (to stuffed - shirt Jas Arora). He's trying....just trying. Being a deejay at 30 is like being a teenager at 40. Or being Mallika Sherawat and attractive and sexy without taking your clothes off. A bit bewildering but constantly engaging in its blizzard of bacchanalia (hats off to dialogue writer Victor Acharya for words that ring true and still sound like catch lines on the bumper sticker of sports car) PKSE is possibly that one romantic comedy in Hindi which could equal Hollywood's Harry-meets-Sally formula portraying the man-sharp-woman-sharper gender skirmish.

Upside
Debutant director Saket Chaudhary sees the battles of the sexes entirely from the male viewpoint. Whether it's Sid with Trisha, or Sid's brother-in-law (Aamir Bashir) struggling to keep his moody wife from swooping down on him at the smallest pretext...this slick flick knows the grope -trick of keeping relationships afloat in today's times of stress and competitiveness.

Some of the sequences, designed to elicit laughter, get there bang-on. It's been a while since a romantic liaison got you giggling, and not just because the repartees are so sassy but because the love pair in so endearing in their state of despair.

Check out the fluster and bluster of Sid's first love-making sequence when she leaves him in a state of cute coitus interruptus...or that hilarious narration by Sid's brother-in-law where the poor guy tells Sid about his spousal fight the night before.

Sid's encounter with his fiancee's tyrannical father (Sharat Saxena) may outwardly remind you of Meet The Parents. But seen within the larger picture Saket Choudhary has scripted an urban legend that is slave to no ready reference point.

Finally the effectuality of the romantic comedy depends on the chemistry between the lead pair. The tried-and-tested Rahul Bose re-invents his considerable comic talents to play a man more cornered than conned by love. Sid would rather watch a cricket match than discuss love with his girlfriend. But shhhhh!

Rahul Bose is delectably in tune with his character's befuddlement, often capturing the game-show spirit of the man-woman battle with an intuitive insouciance.

Mallika is a delightful surprise. Fully clothed (thank GOD!) she's a temptress and a virgin, a tease and an ingenue all at once. Where was this side of the voluptuous actress hidden so far?

The supporting cast specially Ranveer Shorey as the underwear-challenged slob adds considerably to the fluid charm of the central romance.

Manoj Soni's camera lets the lovers be on Omang Kumar's ritzy but credible sets. Editor Hemal Kothari cuts into the guffaws with a tongue-in-cheek flourish.

Jha's judgment
Once in while, a film makes you smile. Not because of what it strives to be. But for it sheer sassiness and temerity. 

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