|krangara | Mouthshut.com member
'Love has no age, no limit; and no death' said John Galsworthy.
In an era where 40+ actors romance 20+ actresses, it is refreshing to see a romantic comedy that focuses on a topic generally considered ‘taboo’ in Indian culture – late marriages. Indian girls, especially, are packed off to their in-laws before turning twenty-five! In my thirty years of life, I have come across only one couple who chose to tie the knot past forty, and they shatter all stereotypes of the late bloomers. Truly, love only needs a heart, not a wrinkle-free skin, as Shrin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi postulates.
Farhad Pastakia (Boman Irani) is a 40 year old Parsi and a lingerie salesman, a fact that elicits several guffaws in the first half of the film. He lives with his loving, yet imperious mother and an adorable grandmother. Mrs Pastakia’s ultimate goal is to get her son married, by hook or crook. He is displayed like a trophy at several homes and signed on for Parsi Social Nights, but these efforts prove futile because his unconventional profession is always mocked. Nonetheless, Farhad is proud of what he does, keeps his head held high, and waits for a bride who will understand him and love him for what he is. Enter Shirin Fugawala (Farah Khan), an independent Parsi woman who works at the Parsi Trust.
During their very first encounter, which is quite hilarious, Farhad confidently guesses her ‘number.’ She takes a shine to him, but they forget each other. Fate, or as Farhad says, "destiny", has other plans though. They bump into each other again at a disastrous social night and hit it off instantly. They go on couple of dates where Farhad shares his dreams and ambitions. Shirin is the first woman to welcome him unconditionally, and it doesn’t take too long for the man to fall head over heels in love.
For her part, Shirin is appreciative of Farhad’s sincerity and affection, and gladly gives her heart to him. Meanwhile, his mother is engaged in an ongoing bitter fight with someone from the trust over an illegal tank in her home. No prizes for guessing who that ‘someone’ is! This discord, along with other unfortunate incidents, creates issues for the couple, but love ultimately prevails and they are married in style!
What I especially like about the film are the realistic interactions between Shirin and Farhad. In keeping with their age and experience, they are both confident about themselves and each other, and never resort to overly syrupy proclamations to demonstrate their love. They are mature and practical, although Farhad is the dreamer out of the two. For example, when Shirin and Farhad encounter opposition in the form of Mrs. Pastakia, they don’t make hasty decisions like eloping, which you would expect from a more brash or impulsive couple. Instead, he respects his mother and firmly believes that she will see the light soon. Such displays of maturity certainly elevate the viewing experience.
The music is actually quite nice. Some people might find it unsightly to watch two middle-aged adults breaking into a spontaneous jig in the living room, but I loved it! It would be a blessing to be as happy and spontaneous as these two fictional characters after turning 40!
The melodious songs are also beautiful, although Farah doesn’t do a good job lip-synching. These could have just played in the background to enhance the scene and emotions. The Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai spoofs are fun to watch and will definitely be enjoyed by fans of these films.
However, the USP(s) of SFKTNP are the performances. The supporting star cast perform well but are mostly kept in the sidelines while the two lead stars take over the baton/
Boman is, as always, completely reliable and proficient. As the honest and hardworking Farhad who doesn’t mind waiting for his love, he is excellent. His versatility shines throughout the movie.
While Boman’s excellence was expected, I was completely and pleasantly surprised by Farah’s talent. As the bombastic and blustery Shirin, she sparkles and is simply FANTASTIC. In fact, the character seems like an extension of Ms. Khan because she is outspoken and amicable in real-life.
Of course, the director smartly steers away from giving Farah extremely difficult emotional scenes, thereby hiding her weaknesses as an actress, but Shirin, as a character, needed someone who self-assuredly takes charge of her life. This poise is portrayed beautifully by the choreographer turned director turned actress. In fact, she has much better comic timing than the ‘supposed’ No.1 heroines of today!
I am not saying that the movie is without flaws. The screenplay drags at times and the placement of songs seems forced, but flawed as it is, SFKTNP is still a charming movie, reminiscent of the old Hrishikesh Mukherjee gems like Chupke Chupke and Golmaal.
Definitely worth a watch. In fact, I wouldn’t mind watching it again!
Rating: Seven out of ten