A few questions cross your mind when you're about to watch Life Partner. Haven't I watched something like this in the past? Isn't it getting repetitive? Haven't I had enough of mindless potboilers? What's Rumy Jaffery going to serve now? A rehash of what he's made in the past?
There's so much negativity surrounding Life Partner, even though you don't have a clue about its content/material. Even though you have no inkling what it has to offer. Also, the buzz is clearly missing.
But never judge a book by its cover. To answer the questions I raised at the very outset, let me say that Life Partner isn't innovative or ground-breaking. But it is interesting and entertaining. One may assume that it's a nonsensical comedy, but it isn't. Instead, it's a 'family film' (a popular term for socials/paarivaarik films within the industry)]. It gives you a sneak peak into the lives of two couples - one, who believes in love marriage and the other, who believes in arranged marriage.
Life Partner also surprises you because Rumy Jaffery incorporates vignettes from real life. Most importantly, Life Partner entertains, makes you laugh (at even silly jokes) and keeps you hooked for most parts of the film. It's only the climax that acts as a spoilsport. But more on that later!
To sum up, Life Partner carries no buzz and also the baggage of zilch expectations. But this film springs a pleasant surprise. You leave the auditorium with a smile, not a smirk!
Karan (Fardeen Khan) and Sanjana (Genelia D'Souza) are madly in love with each other. Marriage is the next step to cement their relationship. But is 'love marriage' the right way to be?
For Bhavesh (Tusshar Kapoor), his life partner, Prachi (Prachi Desai), comes with the approval of his family. But is 'arranged marriage' the way forward? Is it right to prioritize family over marriage? Does Prachi have to prove herself as a worthy daughter-in-law to qualify as an ideal wife?
Jeet (Govinda) is an accomplished divorce lawyer who does not believe in the institution of marriage. He can't be monogamous and is often responsible for his getting his clients divorced. But is 'no marriage' the right policy? Will Jeet ever find a partner and accept matrimony?
Life Partner is about three protagonists struggling on the marital marathon, but on different tracks.
Life Partner is a simple story told in a simplistic manner. Director Rumy Jaffery comes to the point at the very outset and the principle characters and their characteristics are well established at this juncture. The film is laced with funny incidents initially, but gets serious as it reaches the interval point. In this case too, the interval point is a shocker and you await the second half for several reasons. The post-interval portions get more real, since the two marriages go through a crisis and the transition is depicted wonderfully.
However, the climax is a downer. Ideally, the writer should've come up with a better thought of conclusion, instead of the one that's depicted now.
Rumy Jaffery shows ample improvement over his previous film. He has handled a number of scenes very well, especially the Tusshar - Prachi - Darshan Jariwala portions. Pritam comes up with an ordinary soundtrack. 'Kuke Kuke' is the best of the lot. Yunus Sajawal's screenplay has several appealing moments. Niranjan Iyengar's dialogues are first-class. Sameer Arya's cinematography is admirable. The locales of South Africa are a visual treat. In fact, the film sports a rich look all through.
Govinda is in terrific form this time. After PARTNER, the talented actor gets a role that does complete justice to his abilities. He seems to have worked on his looks and that only enhances the impact. Fardeen Khan is very likable. In fact, the role requires him to go overboard at times and he does that so well. Genelia D'Souza is the scene stealer. She's superb and one of the prime reasons that makes Life Partner watchable.
Tusshar Kapoor pitches a remarkable performance yet again. He looks so perfect for his part. Life Partner is yet another film that showcases his talent well. Prachi Desai showed abundant promise in Rock On!! and excels in Life Partner too. This pretty girl has the potential to carry off most difficult scenes with aplomb. Amrita Rao (special appearance) doesn't create magic. Anupam Kher is just right. Darshan Jariwala is proficient. Vikram Gokhale is good. Jagdeep is superb in a brief role.
On the whole, Life Partner may lack the hype, but this one springs a pleasant surprise. It's aimed at the families and that section of movie-going audience should take to it gradually, with a strong word of mouth. The holidays in its opening weekend should help the film grow!
Verdict: Three stars