The original, in 2011, was witty, hilarious and took on modern-day relationships in a way not many in Bollywood dared to at that time. And now we have a sequel to director Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar Ka Punchnama, releasing on Friday. Will it be two-in-two for Ranjan? Or, will it add to the long list of damp squibs that most sequels turn out to be after all the hype?
PKP 2 retains the same actors from the original, but they play completely different characters. So Neha (Nushrat Bharucha) from the original becomes Chiku in the second outing, and, obviously, the two are as different as chalk and cheese. “We tried to keep the same flavour and premise this times as well, but there will be some fundamental differences in characterisation. We got the feedback last time that the second half of PKP was more drama-driven, while the audience wanted to see more of comedy. You recall how a ‘macho’ guy like Chaudhary broke his guitar because he couldn’t cry like Liquid and Rajjo. In PKP 2, the comic quotient will be higher,” says Bharucha.
The original film was about a couple who squabbled about everything in their life: from the colour of the curtains in their house to the size of their coffee mugs, there was no meeting ground between the two. Their differences apart, however, the film was also accused of being anti-male.
Bharucha scoffs at the idea, and says: “I am not an anti-male actress. Different actors do different roles. Aamir Khan did a role with negative shade in 1947 Earth. Neha might be one side of me, but then Chiku, too, is no different than what I am. This time, the film has a different tone... it is quirkier. They’ve made me dumb.”
Even Kartik Aaryan (Rajat) has gone for a makeover this time. Remember his popular five-minute monologue in the original? “I am not a naïve guy like Rajjo anymore,” he says, adding: “My role in PKP 2 is poles apart from Rajjo. It is called Gogo and this guy can’t be dominated easily. Gogo is a strong-headed and carefree guy even when he is with his girlfriend. Rajjo was more into domestic issues, but Gogo doesn’t care about the shades of pink. My role this time is more relatable. I was very young when the first PKP came out, but now I have matured even as a person. So that will reflect in my character as well. We have attended a lot of workshops to prepare for it, and it’s a new film, more matured, so you will be able to take it more seriously. However, there is a monologue again (smiles).”
Watch: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 trailer
Ranjan started working on PKP 2 after his second film Akaash Vani (2013). He says: “We fall prey to our own trappings. At that time, they were new to you and you liked them. Now, you say why don’t you repeat them? If I repeat them, you’ll question that as well. I didn’t want to get stuck in the same space.”
He adds, “The problems of the characters change the moment you change their age. The basic feel might be the same, but in my opinion PKP 2 is a smarter film. PKP was about people fresh out of the college, but this time it’s about techies who’re in their jobs for 4-5 years, more settled in life. Their style, hobbies, ambitions, everything is different. Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 is a ‘chanth’ film.”
Pyaar Ka Punchnama is set to hit the screens on October 16, 2015.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/ @nawabjha)