First things first, the title 'Hasee Toh Phasee' is quite misleading and out of place for the movie that follows afterwards. Secondly, there are a few incredulous plot points in the movie that seem to have been worked out in a hurry and hinder the pace in a few places. Barring these minor details Hasee Toh Phasee is one of the better romantic comedies to have come out in past few years (joining the ranks of Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Shuddh Desi Romance, Band Baaja Baraat) sparkling with great performances and the director Vinil Mathew has made a very assured debut.
Hasee Toh Phasee is a distinctive first of sorts. A movie co-produced by Dharma Productions (Karan Johar) and Phantom productions (Anurag Kashyap, Vik Motwane, Vikas Behl, Madhu Mantena), two production houses that were, a while back, polar opposites of sorts. HTP is their first outing together and the film in fact has moments that are reminiscent of both it's parents so to say, and this marriage has worked out in a charming little gem of a film.
Despite having a big fat Indian wedding as the backdrop the film doesn't suffer from most of the cliches associated with them albeit it does pay homage to a few characters that are a common sight in real Indian weddings. They say that the devil is in the details and Hasee Toh Phasee makes sure that the details are well taken care of. This is by no means the work of a novice, in fact technically the film is absolutely brilliant. From the crisp editing (Shweta Venkat Mathew), to fluid cinematography (Sanu John Varughese) and great production design (Aditya Kanwar) there are hardly any glitches anywhere.
The few glitches are provided by an otherwise very good screenplay by Harshavardhan Kulkarni (also debuting). There are quite a few sparkling lines peppered throughout with Parineeti getting the best of them. It's the story of a committed guy (Siddharth Malhotra) meeting a weird girl (Parineeti) who happens to be his girlfriend's (Adah Sharma) sister. Without giving much of the plot away, much hilarity ensues and where the film lacks in a solid storyline it makes up for in witty dialogues, some great laugh out loud set-ups and tender heartfelt moments.
The movie boasts of some great performances by the supporting cast. Manoj Joshi is clinical in his role as the father of the bride. Sharat Saxena is good and surprise-surprise - Sameer Khakhar (the endearing Khopdi from 'Nukkad') appearing on-screen after a very long time, plays the eldest man of the family.
The chemistry of the lead duo is most visible in the few silent scenes and thanks to the deft and sensitive direction even some cliched scenes have come out beautifully. Much will be said about Parineeti Chopra's performance and the way she is redefining the typical Bollywood heroine, years from now. In fact the movie belongs to her in this author-backed role. From her weird mannerisms to the complete transformation and the constant display of vulnerability (amazing in her breakdown scene), Parineeti makes the character her own. But Siddharth Malhotra deserves no less of an applause here. He plays the earnest, conflicted, down-to-earth guy with an effervescence. He may not be much of a dancer but the guy has acting chops and shows a lot of promise. Just two movies old right now, letís hope to see him getting better and diverse roles.
In the end, Hasee Toh Phasee is a great debut by the writer-director duo of Harshavardhan Kulkarni and Vinil Mathew (both FTII graduates) and sparkles with lovely performances by the lead duo. Keep your expectations on the lower side and you will have a great time.
- Shivam Sharma aka Ghanta Guy