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Saket Chaudhary seems to be a fan of sitcoms and SMS jokes. He combines the two to put together a script and make “Shaadi Ke Side Effects”, 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 film’s 2006 prequel “Pyaar Ke Side Effects”, resorts to a heap of clichés 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 Akhtar’s comic timing, but for the most part, “Shaadi Ke Side Effects” is a series of sitcom episodes strung together to make a full-length movie.
Sid and Trisha are the “yuppie couple” whose marriage is chronicled from their carefree days to their transition to parents and caregivers. Chaudhary chooses to tell the story from the man’s point of view, making Vidya Balan’s character purely ornamental, except towards the end.
Farhan’s character is on a mission to “save” 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 isn’t exactly original. Balan doesn’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 film’s beginning that if husbands insist on working late, then wives have no option other than to watch television all day long.