Based on a story by Kamna Chandra and written by Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal, the 125-minute movie is a two-hander for the most part. Irrfan’s breezy performance is one of his most relaxed yet. Qarib Qarib Singlle is a road movie-cum-coming-of-age romance, with a bittersweet tang to it, and yet it is peppy, and fun and fresh: two adults, a man and a woman, connect via a dating site, and find that online, can, sometimes, translate into something vital and real, offline.
The hero is an effusive, garrulous Yogi (Irrfan), a small-time poet who has loved and lost three women since the time he was in high school, but hasn’t allowed heartbreak to deflect him from his merry, impulsive ways.
The heroine is a reticent Jaya Sasidharan (Parvathy), a young widow who has moved on since the death of her army man husband a decade ago and immersed herself in her health insurance career. She is doing perfectly well for herself but she is, at the behest of her brother (Siddharth Menon), a university student we see only in the course of Skype chats, is still looking for a way of starting over.
Tanuja Chandra’s film doesn’t simply touch your heart. It runs against the most sensitive portions of the heart, tugs and pulls at your emotions in ways that are far from manipulative or gratuitous. Yes, some portions after the midpoint get repetitive. The narrative tends to sag in parts. But nothing that Irrfan and Parvathy can’t swoop up in their arms and revivify.
Cinematographer Eeshit Narain makes Hardwar, Rishikesh, Gangtok and even Rajasthan look inviting enough to make us want to leave everything behind and rush for a vacation.
The movie has a lot to say about romance, but shrinks from the prospect of sex between two adults. At the end of it, you hope that their relationship status will change to Kareeb Kareeb Couple.