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Khubsoorat review: Bollywood-Disney fairytale combo!

Khubsoorat review: Bollywood-Disney fairytale combo!

Source: Sonia Chopra

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 19 September 2014

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Movie Title

Khoobsurat

Director

Shashanka Ghosh

Star Cast

Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan

An uptight royal home that runs on overwhelming discipline, and a free-spirited person that comes in to upset the apple cart. What's not to like, right?

The wheelchair-bound King (Aamir Raza Hussain) has a new physiotherapist Dr. Mrinalini (Sonam Kapoor), after the several who gave up and quit. We take it that he's a difficult patient. But not as harrowing as the Rani-sa Nirmala Devi (Ratna Pathak Shah) who's the family disciplinarian. A five-minute delay at the dinner table is an unforgivable sin in this palace, as is laughing loudly and being yourself. Which is why when Mrinalini zooms in late, then settles down, crunching papad into the rice and eating with her hands, Nirmala Devi is outraged. The uppity prince Vikram Rathore (Fawad Khan) calls her "aafat" and she in turn thinks he's stuck-up.

But beneath the bright veneer, Mrinalini is a tough nut, even more stubborn than her royal patient. When he begins showing results, everyone has to look the other way and tolerate Mrinalini's overzealousness.

This free-spiritedness, she has inherited from her mother whom she calls Manju (a delightful Kirron Kher). Manju's "one-track mind" has her wondering if her daughter will hook up with the prince.

Then romance comes in, rather intrusively. We're not very taken in by this unlikely coupling. Their romance is introduced in a cliched manner, and is barely given time to develop. In a conversation where the prince is confused about the matters of the heart, all his friend wants to know is whether she's hot. Which is odd, because the film is based on her personality more than anything.

This is a Disney movie, and Sonam Kapoor, even before the film's credits roll, tells us what a privilege it is being a Disney princess. So we all know how the film's going to wrap up. The first half is great as we're repeatedly amused by Mrinalini's audacious antics and watching the royal family besides themselves in their attempt to reign her.

But there are times when the film gets overenthusiastic. Like the time when Mrinalini asks Divya, the princess, whether she has a boyfriend at the family dinner no less. One can forgive the generous splash of colour in Mrinalini's wardrobe, as it makes a point, and Kapoor carries it off beautifully. The otherwise interesting background score is also too much at times. Scenes stretch too long, and the film gets a bit lost in the middle with too many detours.

What saves the film time and again are the actors. Sonam Kapoor is superb as the klutzy, spirited doc, who's a revelation when she's defending herself in intimidating situations. Kapoor brings in loads of charm and heart to this role, making us root for the character throughout.

Fawad Khan does well as Bollywood's version of Prince Charming. As the King and Queen, Hussain and Shah are outstanding! It's great fun when Shah, as the disciplinarian matriarch, tries coming to terms with Mrinalini's audacious behavior.

The dialogue throws up some really funny lines, like Kirron Kher referring to the royals as split personalities for their use of the Hindi word "hum" to address themselves. We see Mrinalini sigh over Vikram's long lashes, while her phone ring-tone is the funniest ever.

This is Shashanka Ghosh's movie, the director who gave us the deliciously irreverent Quick Gun Murugun and Waisa Bhi Hota Hai: Part 2, and who has been hopelessly Disney-fied here. Not that he minds, as the film's souffle light demeanor reveals.

This film has little of the gentle nuance of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed original, but it's still pretty good fun. This Bollywood-Disney fairytale combo is worth a shot!

Rating: 3 stars

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