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Upperstall Review



Gori Tere Pyaar Mein!


Hindi, Romance, 2013, Color

Sriram Venkat (Imran Khan) is a spoilt, rich brat, who is America returned after studying to be an architect but happy to do nothing but spend his father's money. This makes him the clear black sheep of his family and often the target of his father's ire. Sriram is engaged to be married to Vasudha (Shraddha Kapoor). But she she loves another. In their conversations, Sriram tells her about the crazy relationship he shared with Dia Sharma (Kareena Kapoor), his ex-girlfriend and a firebrand social activist. They had parted ways but Vasudha makes Sriram realize he is not over Dia yet. Much to vasudha's glee, Sriram runs out of the marriage mandap to find Dia. But Dia has moved on and is now in an obscure village in Gujarat called Jhumli. Sriram lands up in Jhumli to take his love back... But Dia refuses to return with him, involved as she is in the life of the people there, and campaigning for a bridge to be built across the river that will make life easier for the villagers...

The initial promos of Gori Tere Pyaar Mein! had pretty much already given out the entire story of the film - yet another tale of a spoilt rich, brat, who comes of age in the second half in the 'real' India while winning the hair of his activist girlfriend. But unlike the hero, who finds some depth and purpose to his life by the end of the story, the film fails to do so and remains shallow and superficial throughout its running length.

Already stuck with a typical enough story, the film is unable to have any real highs and lows or enough of the odd unexpected moment. It is largely highly predictable and even boring right from the beginning, when Sriram's father asks where he is and of course, on cue the makers cut to a club song with the hero freaking out with item girl Esha Gupta, who blends into the background with no presence whatsoever. What doesn't help further is making Imran Khan play Sriram. How much ever leeway we give mainstream Bollywood in terms of suspension of disbelief, asking us to accept Imran as a Tam Brahm (Tamil Brahmin) is a little much! What were they thinking? And though South Indians have been cast as his parents (Nizhalgal Ravi and Sujata Kumar), they fall into the stereotype.

The first half sees Imran tell his arranged bride to be, Shraddha Kapoor, his unrequited love story with Dia (Kareena Kapoor), a Punjabi do-gooder activist of sorts. Where she works and what is her real focus of work is unclear. Let us just say she just protests against all types of injustices all over. Though no great shakes, the developing of this love story at least lends itself to the odd smile inducing scene or two, like the one where Sriram turns the table on Dia's father. Incidentally, who were those actors playing Dia's parents? Sufficient to say that there's no way Kareena would be their daughter!

It's the second half when the film switches to the Dharma productions designed rural landscape, that 'lofty intentions' notwithstanding, the film flounders and flounders badly. The obstacles, their solutions, the hero's coming of age just don't hold water. The most challenging plot points in any script involve a believable change over in the thinking of characters. These have to be thought out carefully but here it is highly convenient, taking the easy way out, often without proper build up, and with a total lack of layering or complexity. Even the metaphor of the bridge being built to the bridge to be crossed by Sriram is ever so right in your face.

Imran's weak performance hampers the film further. Totally miscast and unable to get into character and as far from a South Indian as chalk is from cheese, he shows once again his acting chops haven't yet developed. Kareena comes off comparatively better as the ethnically dressed (but of course) NGO type, but that's not really saying much. The chemistry between the two leave a lot to be desired and one wonders how much of an 'endearing' character trait her banging her hand on her forehead is or whether it's actually her frustration with the film. Anupam Kher gets defeated by a totally idiotic track as the villanious collector, while Shraddha Kapoor looks easy on the eye, dew fresh and pretty.

There's nothing to add on the technicalities, which are adequate, nothing more, nothing less. The songs too are just so-so. All in all, the film follows the typical Dharma Productions template - an on-the-surface, superficial and sugar coated designer film and little else really.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan





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