'Daddy Cool' Movie Review
For sous chef Vir
Pratap Singh (Randeep Hooda), life is a dimsum of desires, each dumpling
an attractive woman.
He doesn't really agree
with his boss, master chef (Saurabh Shukla), a philosopher in the
kitchen, who reminds him of the futility of running after 99 women when
the special one could be around the corner. Pyaar uss se karna chahiye
jisse pyar mile, he says.
But wisdom doesn't come easy to Vir, a rake driven by hormones and a
no-scruples quest for upward mobility. Essentially, Love Khichdi is his
rites of passage. The boy from Chandigarh has to step over a minefield
of women, taste love and heartbreak, before finding his true value girl
at the end.
What lifts this smart-assed flick above the mundane is its attention to
detail. Every character in the film, major or minor, is neatly rounded.
We have not only seen them somewhere close by; we also wish to see them
somewhere close by. Cool and sexy without getting risqué, director
Srinivas Bhashyam turns Vir's journey as a fantasy fulfiller for the
young, urban male. In the end, we want him to make the right choice. And
when he does, it feels good.
In its narrative technique, Love Khichdi uses two innovations. The minor
one is the sach ki ghanti, a bell that rings whenever the hero speaks
the truth. It sort of underlines the moment. But more than that it is
getting each character to talk to the audience in a soul searching,
confessional mode that works as a neat narrative device. The technique
allows us to peep into the heart of every character, know their
It helps that the characters are sharply delineated. There's the simple
girl next door Sandhya Iyengar, a pal he croons happy birthday to, drunk
late night, using a lighter as a candle. There's coquettish Punjaban
Parminder Kaur (Divya Dutta), a regular scene-stealer in another scene
stealing act and the husband-hating hot maid (Sonali Kulkarni) whom Vir
gives the (allegedly) Shiney Ahuja sort of look. Then there is the
bookstore woman played by Rituparna Sengupta, the tough cookie corporate
who gets the better of him, and the hot Gujju schoolgirl (Riya Sen), who
is too sexy for her skirt.
Director Srinivas Bhasyam gets great work from the ensemble. Among those
who stand out are Kulkarni, Dutta and Shukla (in that order). Hooda too
looks the part. What adds to the movie is a mood-enhancing track that
runs through the first half. Listening to Mujh jaisa hero, meri makhna
(singers: Gopal Rao, Mahalakshmi Iyer, music: Pritam) is like watching
snowflakes in the moonlight. It makes you feel young and wanted.
Love Khichdi has style, wit and that dirty five-letter word, heart. In
the latter part of the second half, the movie tends to drag. Perhaps
trimming it by 15 minutes would have made it crisper; just like one of
those dishes that Vir rustles up. Nonetheless, it's a swell date flick.
And, like the film's protagonist, don't hesitate to lie if your partner
predicts your sun sign wrong after the lights come on.