Movie Review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Saket Chaudhary seems to be a fan of sitcoms and SMS jokes. He combines the two to put together a script and make â€śShaadi Ke Side Effectsâ€ť, a movie about the modern Indian marriage, where men are trying to escape and women are obsessed with their children.
Chaudhary, who also directed the filmâ€™s 2006 prequel â€śPyaar Ke Side Effectsâ€ť, resorts to a heap of clichĂ©s and jaded jokes, most of which you have heard before and some which might seem offensive. Sporadically, the film manages to find a funny spot, thanks to Farhan Akhtarâ€™s comic timing, but for the most part, â€śShaadi Ke Side Effectsâ€ť is a series of sitcom episodes strung together to make a full-length movie.
Sid and Trisha are the â€śyuppie coupleâ€ť whose marriage is chronicled from their carefree days to their transition to parents and caregivers. Chaudhary chooses to tell the story from the manâ€™s point of view, making Vidya Balanâ€™s character purely ornamental, except towards the end.
Farhanâ€™s character is on a mission to â€śsaveâ€ť his marriage throughout the film. First, he wants to save it from the drudgery that parenting brings, then from a neighbour who takes an unnatural interest in his wife, and finally, from his own insecurities.
Some of this is funny, thanks to Akhtar, even though the dialogue isnâ€™t exactly original. Balan doesnâ€™t have much to do, and is reduced to a caricature of a wife, one who lets herself go after giving birth, is obsessed with her offspring, and announces at the filmâ€™s beginning that if husbands insist on working late, then wives have no option other than to watch television all day long.
Chaudhary introduces several characters, including a crazy, out-of-work actor in Vir Das; a controlling nanny in Ila Arun; and Trishaâ€™s disapproving mother in Rati Agnihotri. But these characters appear episodically, as and when the situation demands it. We never get a sense of Sid and Trishaâ€™s marriage, which is what the film supposedly revolves around, and none of the issues depicted seem serious enough for the crisis depicted towards the end.
There is a funny idea in here somewhere, and it is good enough for a sitcom. But when you stretch it into a two-and-half-hour film, things are bound to get dull. If you are one of those people who enjoy the jokes that appear in your SMS inbox, perhaps you might enjoy this film. If not, avoid this one.
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