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Review: Straight is as confused as Pinu Patel

Review: Straight is as confused as Pinu Patel

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 23 March 2009

Movie Title

Review: Straight is as confused as Pinu Patel

Director

Parvati Balagopalan

Star Cast

Vinay Pathak, Gul Panag, Siddharth Makkar, Achla Sachdev, Daman Baggan, Ketaki Dave, Anuj Chaudhary

Vinay Pathak is back and this time as a virgin who's confused about his sexuality. He wasn't always like this.

Owner of an Indian restaurant in London called Gaylord (don?t miss the pun here), he had recently gone back to India and was delighted to meet a girl who spoke the husband-is-god type dialogues, admitting she learnt it from saas-bahu serials. Unfortunately this coy thing ditches him on the wedding mandap to run away with her boyfriend.

Devastated at facing his entire staff eager to meet `bhabhi?, Pinu (Pathak) lies about a visa problem. Meanwhile a young stand-up comedian Kamlesh (Anuj Chaudhary) approaches him for a job, even offering to cook during the day.

He also hires the pretty cartoonist Renu (Gul Panag) who begins looking after the restaurant?s accounts. Kamlesh and Pinu form a friendship and begin hanging out together.

Tired of loneliness (we even see the clich?d shot of Pathak walking alone in a crowd), Pinu?s happy to find a friend. All?s swell, till one day, Kamlesh in a fit of joy plants a kiss (we?re not sure if it was accidental) on Pinu?s lips.

Since then, Pinu?s unable to think straight (pun intended). He finds himself having never-before dreams of Kamlesh, while simultaneously developing a crush on Renu. And when Kamlesh and Renu form a close friendship, he?s jealous, but unsure over whom. Indeed, the story?s most interesting portions are when the triangular love story is at its messiest.

Sadly, the funny portions in the film are predictable and repetitive. The director?s trying too hard making us laugh in scenes like the one where he decides to sleep with the married woman who?s been pursuing him (played by Achla Sachdev), but is hit by performance anxiety. Or the time when he gets dumped one-after-the-other by women.

The characters too seem one-sided. All the marriage hopefuls Pinu meets are strange: one is obsessed with TV serials, another thinks of marriage as a cold arrangement where she says she?ll fall in love with him every time he takes her to foreign trips, or the gorgeous one who?s ready to ditch her `I never sleep on the first date? rule, when Pinu courts her in style with a limousine and all.

The performances in the film are a treat. Vinay Pathak plays the everyman with aplomb. Gul Panag does very well as the sweet, talented person who?s not afraid to show her feelings and Anuj Chaudhary does very well as the pushy yet endearing person who makes for a great friend.

Siddhartha Makkar as Pinu?s brother is one of the most interesting characters in the film, pulling Pinu?s leg at times, but on whom Pinu depends for street-smart advice. Ketaki Dave as his sometimes modern, sometimes conservative aunt is hilarious.

Director Paravati Balagopalan who had made the disappointing Rules- Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula in 2003, tries her hand again at the rom-com. Admittedly, the performances and the unique film concept of confused sexuality do make Straight an interesting watch. Go for it, if you enjoyed Dostana, and don?t mind another frothy take on homosexuality.

Verdict: Two stars

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