Jabariya Jodi Movie Review: Despite the zari and jokes, the Sidharth Malhotra-Parineeti Chopra jori doesn't work!

A clumsy plotline, overuse of kitsch and colour, and damp performances by the lead pair, Jabariya Jodi does nothing. I'm going with 2 stars out of 5.

 |  3-minute read |   09-08-2019
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Film: Jabariya Jodi

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Javed Jaffrey, Sanjay Mishra, Aparshakti Khurana, Chandan Roy Sanyal

Director: Prashant Singh

Hindi; U/A; 2 hours, 5 minutes

Stars: 2 Stars

“Aise emotion Arijit Singh ko suit kartein hai, Abhay Singh ko nahin,” says Guddu (Chandan Roy Sanyal) to a drunk, lovelorn Abhay Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) as he walks out of the room.

Prashant Singh’s Jabariya Jodi has plenty of such goofy, kind-of-witty and funny dialogues, and equally good actors with brilliant comic timing delivering them.

Somehow, when it comes to the lead pair though — Sidharth and Parineeti Chopra (Babli) — this gives way to heavy, convoluted, wannabe-deep dialogues about love and life, and therefore, just bores you to death.

Pari and Sid were last seen in Hasee Toh Phasee, a film I quite liked, which still remains a guilty pleasure. Jabariya Jodi does not have that potential. The storyline is clumsy, the unnecessarily jammed-in songs slow down the pace further, overtly generous use of pop colours and designs that are not even associated with Bihar — like Bandhni, Ikat, Phulkari — simply dazzle you blind, and the spot-the-authentic-Bihari-accent game is just ridiculous.

But then, those of you who went in expecting something substantial or worthwhile, even after you had seen Jabariya Jodi's trailer, well, the joke’s on you.

The two main characters, Abhay and Babli, are childhood friends who were separated at pre-teen, only to almost bang into each other at a jabariya wedding. Now, for the uninitiated, 'jabariya shaadi' is where grooms are forced into marrying, as opposed to the other way around, which might seem like a norm across the country. These marriages are orchestrated by party goons and only those grooms are targeted who refuse to marry when dowry negotiations go wrong.

On the surface, it seems like a good thing — but it’s not. Abhay now heads the jabariya shaadi gang, Babli recently became a television sensation after she beat up a dowry-demanding prospective groom to pulp, and here they are — staring at each other at a jabariya shaadi mandap.

You’d think it’s a match made in heaven — but wait.

There’s evil dad, tug-of-war between the heart and brain, realisation of love, followed by realising you just missed your window, and several songs, more kitschy ensembles and a truckload of make-up on Parineeti, until you reach the end.

The trailer promised comedy, the film gave you some hilarious moments, but eventually fell into Bollywood’s emotional trap — however, we do not want Abhay Singh to turn into Arijit Singh, do we? Especially if it is Sid mouthing those emo dialogues, given that he cannot act to save his life.

Pari, on the other hand, is completely wasted behind that truckload of make-up I just mentioned — why on earth would anyone do that? — cherry-red hair like Katrina Kaif’s from Fitoor with corsets and harem pants/palazzos that look so out-of-place in small-town Bihar.

There is an abundance of in-film product placements — from Manyavar sherwanis at weddings to Balaji wafers at chai tapris — because as if the overdose of colour wasn't enough!

The purpose of a supporting cast is to support the main cast — but, like so many other Bollywood films, the supporting cast stands out simply by virtue of brilliant acting. Javed Jaffrey as Abhay’s father, the goon-turned-aspiring politician, is just perfect, Sanjay Mishra as Babli’s father, the hapless school teacher, is so meant for this role, Chandan as Abhay’s friend, despite being a typical Bollywood trope, doesn’t slip one bit, Aparshakti Khurana as Babli’s friend brings deadpan humour, and a special surprise in Sharad Kapoor, the ruthless politician whose prime focus is getting his sister married off, is amazing.

But a great supporting cast cannot ensure a great film, what with the lack of a good story and tepid performances by the lead pair.

Jabariya Jodi, therefore, falls way short, despite all the colour.

I'm going with 2 stars out of 5. 

Also read: Udta Bollywood: Drugs or no drugs, here’s what happened at Karan Johar’s private party


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