Movie review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects is a bit overstretched

Saket Chaudhary's directorial venture is full of twists and turns associated with a Balaji soap, and is a bit over-stretched. The chemistry of lead pair Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar makes the film sizzle, feel the critics.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2014 01:18 PM IST

Saket Chaudhary's directorial venture is full of twists and turns associated with a Balaji soap, and is a bit over-stretched. The chemistry of lead pair Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar makes the film sizzle, feel the critics.

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Rating: **1/2

Critic's take: The first half of Shaadi Ke Side Effects is somewhat listless. But the film perks up considerably post-intermission. Staid Sid, egged on by his sis-in-law’s hubby Ranvir (Ram Kapoor), decides to turn overly adventurous in order to put some spart back into his marriage. That triggers a series of missteps that put his relationship with his wife in serious jeopardy.

Shaadi Ke Side Effects, via the words of Ranvir, hands out some dodgy pop psychology to justify a somewhat far-fetched ‘formula’ for a happy marriage.

White lies, some harmless subterfuge and an occasional return to the joys of a “carefree single life” are offered as a way out of marital drudgery.

Sure enough, the side effects of that formula are far too many for comfort and they boomerang many times over on Sid.

Shaadi Ke Side Effects isn’t exceptionally engaging fare. It is essentially a single idea stretched to the very end of its tether.

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Prasanna D Zore, Rediff
Rating:
***

Critic's take: Shaadi Ke Side Effects (SKSE), written and directed by Saket Chaudhary, who also helmed Rahul Bose-Mallika Sherawat starrer Pyaar Ke Side Effects, opens on this contrived note and meanders for an over-stretched 145 minutes, full of twists and turns, that one has come to so famously associate with soaps produced by Balaji. While Chaudhary has aptly showcased the problems faced by couples once they become parents, he has gone overboard with his portrayal of two individuals trying to find 'me-space' as they grapple with parental responsibilities.

Surely, Akhtar and Balan, two of the finest actors in contemporary Bollywood, need to be applauded for pulling off SKSE without giving you any side effects once the credits begin to roll.

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Subhash K Jha, IANS
Rating: ****

Critic's take: Director Saket Chaudhary raises some pertinent questions on the fake road signs that could lead to an aborted marriage. Not all of the winking homilies work. But the film holds together primarily because of the intelligent writing and the sharp and crisp way the two main actors interpret the parts of the two individuals in a marriage that has a lot going for it. That includes a baby girl who arrives just in time to get this seven-year delayed sequel trotting on the right road.

Performances and Chemistry
The chemistry between Farhan and Vidya crackles and hisses with tantalising tension. Brittle and yet supple, the lead pair's chemistry irons out the film's uneven edges. I wish the peripheral characters were written and played better.

Purab Kohi as the nosy neighbour (he reminded me of the role he plays in that coffee ad with Karan Johar and Deepika Padukone) and Vir Das as the boorish manifestation of Farhan's character's bachelor fantasies, offer interesting possibilities but stop short of being a support system in this drama about marital discontent.

Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Rating:
***1/2

Critic's take: Saket's script is no slave to any reference material and you absorb the goings-on like a sponge, without complaining. In fact, the flick offers ample 'tricks' to keep a relationship going in the present times, when ambition and stress can drive a wedge between partners. The first half is simply fantastic, loaded with humorous situations and witty, tongue-in-cheek dialogue, but the post-interval portions get dramatic, while a few episodes do seem a bit elongated.

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Madhureeta Mukherjee, The Times Of India
Rating:
***1/2

Critic's take: The director strikes a fine balance between humour and emotion in this slice-of-marriage story. The first half takes a while to catch up, but the dialogues (Arshad Sayed) provide ample laughs, while giving wisdom for wedded bliss. Vir Das in his funky avatar is a riot. Vidya is brilliant and hits a high note in the emotional scenes. The film belongs to Farhan who stuns you with his straight-faced witticisms and plethora of expressions that amuse and move dramatically.

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