Remember the sacrificial, selfless love shown in the films from the Raj Kapoor era where the best friend of the heroine loved her but she only cherished his friendship? This was much before Shah Rukh Khan and Co told us that friendship is love. Meri Pyaari Bindu is a nostalgic tribute to the time and attempts a similar love story. Only, Abhimanyu Roy’s (Ayushmann Khuranna) love is not selfless and this is no classic romance.
Filmmaker Maneesh Sharma bet his money on nostalgia and Khuranna two years ago with Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Now, director Akshay Roy has attempted the same, using Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra’s screen presence. Maneesh has produced both the films. We will have to wait and see if Meri Pyaari Bindu too resonates with the audience.
Meri Pyaari Bindu harps on nostalgia from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Abhimanyu (Khuranna) and Bindu (Chopra) are childhood neighbours who strike a charming but unbalanced friendship – while the boy concentrates on the girl, she is only concerned about her singing aspirations.
The story is narrated through a set of songs ranging from Md Rafi and Asha Bhosle’s Abhi Na Jao Chhor Ke (Hum Dono, 1961) to Aarti Mukherjee’s Do Naina Aur Ek Kahaani (Masoom, 1960) and Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s Disco 82 (Khuddaar, 1980).
The dialogues such as “love stories to koi bhi likh leta hai, bankers bhi likh lete hain” and “background me ‘Govinda, Govinda baj raha hoga aur tu mere saamne ghutne tek ke maafi mang rahi hogi’ come as a breath of fresh air.
However, the story lacks the passion and depth required for a love story to move the audience. Even at two hours, Meri Pyaari Bindu seems stretched and lengthy. Also, the narrative keeps shifting between flashback and the present, making it too confused at times.
While Khuranna is quite convincing as the hopeless lover who is a best-seller writer of soft porn (Chudail ki Choli and Dracula’s Lover), Chopra fails to spark the hidden, unspoken feelings her character is supposed to nurture for the hero. Khuranna and Chopra nonetheless are charismatic when it comes to portraying friendship – the screen lights up with life and charm every time they get into the zone and enjoy some harmless fun on the streets of Kolkata.
Chopra’s passionate craziness for singing, too, is not visible. As the audience, you are supposed to imagine that she loves singing more than anything else – and that is mainly because of the reiterations of Abhi and not because of Bindu’s behaviour.
The director, nonetheless, must be applauded for bringing the 80s Kolkata and current-day Mumbai on to the screen with the minutest of details. From the signature Goddess Durga idol overshadowing people to the property brokers of Mumbai advising a single girl that landlords prefer to rent out flats to a married woman.
While the nostalgic references will ensure smiles keep making fleeting appearances on your face, the film won’t quite make you root for the characters.