Rewatching ‘Namastey London’ is a better option
Okay, I’ll try to be reasonable. Maybe, it’s much on our part to expect filmmakers and actors to put some logic on display when making their supposed hit-machines. But is it a lot to expect them to be considerate towards our time? ‘Namaste England’ is two and a half hours of my life that I simply cannot repent for.
This is the kind of film that follows when a one-night stand between ‘Judaai’ and ‘Half-Girlfriend’ goes awfully wrong. The former is actually Parineeti Chopra’s favourite film, in a supposed interview to film critic Anupama Chopra. I kid you not.
The film begins with Param (Arjun Kapoor) besotted and mooning over Jasmeet (Parineeti) since they first meet at a Ram Leela event in their village. In the course of time, over multiple festivals, with worthless friends playing Cupid, love happens. But then, here comes the elephant. Jasmeet’s grandfather and brother do not approve of her desire to work and would rather have her stuck to kitchen chores. Jasmeet, alongwith her supportive lover and eventual husband devise a plan to set free from their regressive environments. And thus, begins the conspiracy to assault our senses through the rest of the film.
Firstly, a few questions need to be addressed, pronto. What was the script? This is a pertinent thought that puzzles you and the answer lies with writers Suresh Nair and Ritesh Shah. The latter is famous for having given us memorable, quotable dialogues in ‘Pink’. With ‘Namaste England’, the duo try to fit in a love story, a tale on women empowerment and why is it important to love your country. In the process, we get a rude shock. How did director Vipul Amrutlal Shah get producers to bankroll this snoozefest? How important is vanity for Parineeti? And why does the ever-so-articulate Arjun choose scripts that cannot entertain an audience with half-a-brain? The only namesake solace is in cinematographer Ioannis Manolopoulos’ visuals. The music is forgettable and the dialogues can make Daisy Shah’s ‘None of your business’ dialogue from ‘Race 3’ seem like word of God, in comparison.
Speaking of the performances, it pains me to see a National-Award winning actress sign up for mediocrity. I’d rather applaud her courage for having bravely promoted the film. Arjun lives upto his repute of acting serviceably. In a laughable scene, he gets the opportunity to recreate Akshay Kumar’s iconic Manoj Kumar moment from ‘Namastey London’. But then, that is equivalent to Veerappan delivering a speech in the Parliament. The day is not far away when he shall be introduced to us as Jahnvi Kapoor’s brother who tried. Then, we also have Alankrita Sahai (last seen in ‘Love Per Square Foot’), Aditya Seal (last seen in ‘Tum Bin 2’) and stand-up comedian Mallika Dua, who do their bit to dial-up the daft quotient.
For the lack of a plot, if cashing on the duo’s chemistry from ‘Ishaqzaade’ really mattered, the makers could’ve simply collated Arjun and Parineeti’s Instagram stories into a feature film. Trust us; we would’ve been more thankful. ‘Namastey London’ would still be a relevant and far more entertaining film, even today despite a decade since release.
P.S: Filmmaker Karan Johar begins a brand new season of his show, ‘Koffee With Karan’, this weekend. I’d love to see him quiz his guests and ask them to rank Parineeti and Arjun alongwith their contemporaries, in terms of acting. Keep your lie-o-meters ready, folks.