Direction: Shashanka Ghosh
Actors: Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak Shah, Kirron Kher
Khoobsurat is sweet, benign, and bland. The film is the official remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1980 hit about an effervescent girl who enters a strict household and teaches everyone how to laugh and live life to the fullest. The late filmmaker created an unpretentious, good-natured family drama that was funny and moving. But director Shashanka Ghosh and writer Indira Bisht are insistent on creating a Disney fairytale, so they place their reworked story in a dazzling world of maharajas.
The Rathores of Sambhalgarh are rich, royal and wholly dysfunctional. Enter hurricane Mili, played by Sonam Kapoor, who chews loudly, speaks without filters and wears fantastical contrasting outfits with green nail polish.
Naturally, fireworks follow. Mostly between Mili and prince Vikram Rathore, played by the suave Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. The biggest problem with Khoobsurat — it’s just too predictable. This is a paint-by-numbers Mills & Boon story with just a dash of Jane Austen. The characters are caricatures. They are so superficially etched that we never get invested in the outcomes of their tangled lives. The fatal flaw is Mili herself. She is too manicured to be convincing as the clumsy, gauche girl who has been dumped by innumerable boys.
I enjoyed Sneha Khanwalkar’s music, especially ‘Engine ki seeti’, and Tushar Kanti Ray’s sumptuous visuals. Sadly, Shashanka displays none of the eccentric creativity that we saw in his earlier films, though he does create moments of charm.