Movie Moment: Shuddh Desi Romance

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Seems like summer is determined to go out with a bang, given the heat wave saturating my nation and many around the globe. And though it has been fairly uncomfortable, I’ve found ways to stay cool with all the delightful summer romance releases from Dramaland and the Filmsphere. From hot bods to sizzling chemistry, lots of love and action are in store for the next couple months and I plan to soak it all in. But after clapping eyes on the pic above, I also realized there are several visual re-enactments I need to do before this current heat wave dissipates from scorching to shivery.

Over the last couple months, I’ve seen Shuddh Desi Romance bopping around and it immediately caught my attention for two reasons: it’s a Yash Raj Productions romantic comedy and a Parineeti Chopra starrer. Both give me reason to believe this film is worth my time and just might may live up to the moniker of “a romantic comedy that tells it like it is, and is not.”
Plus with its release last week, bringing in nothing but positive chatter and being set to be screened in the Gala Presentation of the Toronto Film Festival, there’s no way I’m passing up this possible gem.

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Shuddh Desi Romance (known in English as Random Desi Romance) from what I’ve read is hard to give the run-of-the-mill quippy description but certainly comes across as a zippy rom-com that addresses the distance between banter, butterflies and bands—– Wedding bands, that is, whether heard or worn. Ostensibly, there’s a lot that transpires between the cool collection of dating dynamics and the rudimentary and at times, redundance of everyday love. I’m not sure how the word “random” works for a love story or romance other than in lustful or “hook-up” territory but that’s for Maneesh Sharma and Jaideep Sahni to explain in less that 3 hours.

Personally, I have a large amount of faith in Sharma, for his other films under the YRF banner are delightful and full of heart, packed with real people and reasonable stakes. Band Baajaa Baaraat, made stars of its leads Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma, while Ladies vs Vicky Bahl not only brought those two back together for compelling performances, it made the Fraternity fall head over feet for Chopra in her first supporting role.

Though her role in that film leaned toward the “annoying” in characterization and interpretation, her presence stole the show (on her end) and made her an upcoming actress I had to keep my eyes planted on. A choice, I’ve never regretted, for her starring role and pairing in Ishaqzaade opposite, Arjun Kapoor, was absolute melodramatic perfection. She lights up the screen each time she’s in shot, for she is by far a force to be reckoned with, which may be born from her doe-eyed infatuation with the craft, but hey, I’m pretty easy to please. And though, for now she gravitates to similar roles of outspoken, modern, yet naïve women; this “type” doesn’t ruffle me. Perhaps, I have faith she’ll branch out but maybe, it’s just simply that she’s so solid in those roles, I don’t care if she ever chooses any other. For, each time I see her, she’s draws me in and I love living in the moment with her loudmouth, uncouth behavior.

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The male lead for this film was originally slated for Shahid Kapur and I believe it would’ve been a great match for him but the role landed with fresh from TV, actor Sushant Singh Rajput. I suppose, the powers that be had a certain look and feel they were going for in regards to their leading man, for I find, Rajput and Kapur have similar auras visually. Rajput may be new to films, having made his début in novel adaptation Kai Po Che (2013), but he’s no rookie, let alone stranger to the camera, having participated in two reality programs, as well as, been acclaimed and awarding-winning for his performance in both of his Indian television dramas Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil and Pavitra Rishta.

It’s the second actress in this circle, print model Vaani Kapoor that is a fresh face, for this will be her first project as an actress. Luckily for her, Sharma likes to work with talents from his previous endeavors, therefore, it’s no surprise the newcomer has already cashed in, and now been slated for the Tamil remake of Band Baajaa Baaraat.

The story’s central characters give way to the general love triangle setup but I doubt the circumstances of this trio can be minimized to generalizations. The modern dating scene is a topic for discussion in every culture and is most certainly changing shape in more conservative areas around the world. Shuddh Desi Romance, seems to be throwing itself in the mix, with a depiction of love among twenty-somethings that is less all about love (lust?), and very little about anything that occurs after. I’m not sure if that’s actually as bad as it sounds, for once one experiences a relationship, without the trappings of romanticized expectations, that’s when real “love” kicks in and all the important questions begin to have no answers.

Check your favorite movie hot spots to experience A Random Desi Romance for yourself. I certainly am!

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[all stills courtesy of Shuddh Desi Romance]

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