Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar, two of our most talented actors, sync up as a married couple in Shaadi Ke Side Effects. Their talent and charm should have been a laugh riot but the movie quite doesn't work.
Debutant director Saket Chowdhary falls notches short of making a total fun riot. The movie - a sequel to much-appreciated Pyaar Ke Side Effects - has it's high points and the actors (Vidya, Farhan, Vir Das, Ram Kapoor and Ila Arun) do impress with their performances. However, the punches and the desperate effort to fuse comedy and philosophy fall flat.
Sid (Farhan Akhtar) and Trisha (Vidya Balan) deal with each other's fantasies and nature, while desperately trying to cope with the pressure of being new parents.
The film is a comic take on the changes that a child brings to the life of a married couple--together and as individuals.
Why you might want to watch it just once?
The performances are impressive. Here, Farhan takes the lead but Vidya, Vir Das (Farhan's friend) and Ila Arun (their babysitter) show immense talent in the spaces provided for them.
Farhan, with a perfect comic timing and an amazing expertise in cracking jokes with a flat face, shines with his own talent.
WATCH: SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS REVIEW
In some of the emotionally-intense scenes, especially in the second half of the movie. Vidya's skills leave you spellbound. She also plays the nagging, irritating wife to the hilt. Interestingly, she also turns into this woman who wants to forgive the husband, only if he would have done the same, and aces the act completely.
Vir Das perfects the cool dude personna while Ila Arun is her charming best as a loving and self-respecting caretaker. Ram Kapoor plays Vidya's brother-in-law in his own style which is pure fun.
Though the film largely uses done-to-death husband-wife jokes, there are a few high points. Sample these:
After having a scary dream that his child has the face of his mom-in-law, Farhan discusses his apprehensions with his friends. One of his friends says, "Saas ke shaqal ke bacche! Sahi hai daily thappad maaro. (Having kids with you mom-in-law's face would be awesome, you can daily slap them in the face!)"
Sometime after the child is born and Farhan feels detached from the family, a neighbour (Purab Kohli) comes filling in for every task in the household. Farhan thinks aloud, "I felt like Sehwag. Ek do match kharab kya khele team se hi nikaal diya aur naya young, player rakh liya! (I felt like Sehwag, I just played bad in a few matches and was kicked out of the team!)
The first half of the movie is good with mostly light moments. Farhan's character comes across as lovable during Vidya's pregnancy, shown in a crisp, tight and small sequence.
The script keeps the characters and situations rooted to reality. That connects the audience with Shaadi Ke Side Effects.
Why you might want to skip this?
Save a few, there is nothing fresh in the jokes.
Sample one from the opening sequence, Farhan's advice for a happy married life is: "If it's your fault, say sorry. If it's your wife's fault, say sorry." That is certainly not funny. It is this kind of done-to-death, husband-wife jokes that are thrown at the audience.
The second half is too emotionally laden for a rom-com.
The film endorses a message: despite efforts at finding formulae for a happy marriage, the best one is to have none, just go with the flow and stay truthful. However, the attempt at conveying the message in a light-hearted, romantic comedy, does not meet it's goal.
Shaadi Ke Side Effects is not as much fun as Pyaar ke Side Effects. You might watch this one only for the performances, which are just as amazing as you expect actors like Vidya and Farhan to deliver.
READ: CRITICS' REVIEW OF SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS