Parineeti Chopra’s sheen is beginning to wear off. Movie critic Rajeev Masand adored her in the 2012 Ishaqzaade, describing the actress as "the biggest strength of the film". Two years later, reviewing her latest work in Daawat-e-Ishq, he said Parineeti had done similar roles earlier. Probably, he did not want to be harsh. But to me it seemed like lambast.
Anyway, the fact remains that an actor, however good he or she may be, will begin to jade and appear boring if he or she were to keep performing the same kind of parts. In Ishaqzaade, as the gun toting free-spirited girl caught in a romantic whirlpool caused by two warring and egocentric families (another Romeo and Juliet), Parineeti was just splendid.
However, she was better in Shuddh Desi Romance – her career best -- essaying a girl who gets the shivers every time she is about to tie the marital knot. Outspoken and rebellious, she portrays Gayatri, pairing with Sushant Singh Rajput. She won several best actress nods for this, but failed to clinch an actual award.
But her 2014 outing in Hasee Toh Phasee was a let-down. As a mad scientist, who runs away from her family after stealing money, she replays her Shuddh Desi Romance role, and this gets dreary after a point.
In her latest movie, Daawat-e- Ishq, Parineeti’s Gulrez is a Hyderabadi girl who dreams of studying shoe designing in America. Sick of being turned by one prospective bridegroom after another on the issue of dowry, she and her father (an excellent performance by Anupam Kher) try and use a law on the evil to pin down a Lucknow biryani seller into parting with a huge amount of money.
Parineeti is chirpy, vivacious, good humoured and lovely to look at. But was she not the same kind of person in just about every other film she has done before?
The fault may not quite lie with her, but with producers and directors – who are desperate to repeat a success, with the result that they encourage an actor to be the same in movie after movie.
We have seen this in Indian cinema. Bollywood comedian Mehmood was done to death in the awfully silly roles he had to essay. There were a few exceptions though. Around the World was one. Maybe Padosan was another. Tamil comedian Santhanam had to be the stupid sidekick of every hero till he got somewhat of a break in Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham. Let us hope he betters this.
Hopefully, Parineeti will put her foot down the way she does in the romantic feast, Daawat-e-Ishq. She tells her father that she must return the money stolen from the Biryani guy.
Unfortunately, the film by itself is disappointing. Although it did stay true to its core plot of dowry harassment, peppered with spicy biryani and kababs, the script seemed to be in a hurry to end the tale on a station platform (How many times this has been the setting for a climax – perhaps the earliest being in Kora Kagaz, where Vijay Anand and Jaya Bahaduri meet and make up in a station).
Imagine this, here is a
retailer (Aditya Roy Kapur), cheated out of his Rs 40 lakhs and jilted so badly forgiving Parineeti on the railway platform the moment she says she has developed a fondness for him! Human emotions do not work this way, and a hurt heart takes time to heal.
Somewhere, Daawat-e-Ishq has got its ratio-proportion all wrong. While a lot of time is spent on biryani and band-baja, the reconciliation between the lovers following the drive down the dowry den is hurried through in the din of the station – cops and a gang of ruffians adding to the mayhem.
Finally, the chemistry between Aditya and Parineeti is not hot either, and Miss Chopra needs to look elsewhere to garner critical applause. Enough of free-spiritedness and bubbly bursts.