STORY: A struggling theatre actor and a young girl, ‘mad over paranthas’, bump into each other in the famous paranthe wali gali of old Delhi and talk each other into fulfilling their dreams. REVIEW: Playwright and theatre director Sachin Gupta’s debut film with an interesting title offers a fresh perspective on life, ambition and our ability to hit back harder when life hits you hard. Very rarely do films focus on simple and light-hearted everyday conversation.
Gupta brings that aspect to the forefront with the beautiful backdrop of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi (or Delhi-6, thanks to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra). We also liked the fact that though based on the hero’s love for theatre, most songs and scenes don’t look theatrical. Gupta keeps it real with locations, performances, interactions. While the sight of scrumptious paranthas and pickle leave you salivating, lack of a concrete plot coupled with the film’s stagnant pace also unfortunately leave you hungry and tired.
Plus, the story lacks direction; it wanders around aimlessly, lacking continuity and failing to connect with the audience. This makes you question the motive of the film. For example, the protagonist Maulik ( Anuj Saxena), a theatre actor/director, who struggles to get himself a show, goes on and on about his passion for ‘theatre’, but his actions do not back his words. We don’t feel for his character or his love for the art, which is the biggest drawback of the film. Saxena is a tad too understated for his character.
On the contrary, his young heroine ( Neha Pawar), who plays a loud Punjaban, tries to imitate Anushka Sharma and ends up looking over-animated in most scenes. She gets better when she’s herself. The lead actors have good screen presence but need to undergo voice modulation for their pitch stays constant. The chemistry between the two doesn’t work either. Supporting actors are pleasant, but don’t add much to the proceedings. The abrupt climax doesn’t live up to the strong initial build-up either.