Meri Pyaari Bindu – is a fresh take on Love is Friendship

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Feel Good is one of my favorite genres of cinema; and when it gets lavishly garnished with Nostalgia sprinkled all over, you get something that leaves you with a smile on your lips and a lump in your throat in the form of Meri Pyaari Bindu – a lovely and refreshing take on ‘pyaar dosti hai‘…

[Note – There are spoilers beyond this point…]

The film like its lead characters is faulty in places, messy at times, and yet lovable and charming at its core.. Abhi and Bindu are like two opposite poles but create ‘fatafati’ magic whenever they get together.. He is grounded, She is a dreamer.. He is steady, she is fickle.. They are both confused in their own ways though… Their journey is rocky, inconsistent and yet plausible.. Together they build moments that become characters by themselves.. some of them sketched out as world full of warmth, while some missing the beat by miles.. And it is the strength and weaknesses of these moments that takes the film forward because there is very little in the name of a plot anyway..! In fact, the film faulters when it tries to create drama like an out of place emotional scene between Bindu and her dad, or the overdramatic marriage proposal scene.. and it scores heavily when it pushes the peddle on authentic, simple and subtle moments like Abhi finally confiding to his childhood sweetheart about his genuine emotion for her just like that one fine morning, or Bindu calling up Abhi after ages and breaking his heart once again.. The ‘sound track of their life’ is beautifully conceptualized and wonderfully used as milestones of their bumpy ride.. How I wish there was more of those songs and some more milestone moments..

Read The Best Resonating Dialogues of the Film Here…

Debutant director Akshay Roy walks on a slippery path to create something new and real, and mostly succeeds in creating connections through some well sketched characters and spunky moments.. He could have been more courageous to better explore the non linear narrative, and possibly could have toned down the overall style quotient of telling the story, but inspite of its flaws actually gives us a pretty good first half.. He loses some direction in the 2nd half trying to explore why his characters are doing what they are doing.. Maybe Roy needs to take a lesson or two from Shoojit Sircar, Gauri Shinde or Zoya Akhtar and learn how to make seamlessly smooth slice of life films! But I absolutely loved his way of bringing it together in the end.. It stays authentic to the spirit of the lovely relationship between Abhi and Bindu, where not everything is perfect and that is where the film triumphs for me.. Add to it the beautifully fitted Sonu and Parineeti duet version of ‘Maana ki hum yaar nahi’ to wrap it up.. the song that blends perfectly to take the space of the last 5 minutes of the mix tape that Abhi and Bindu had intentionally left blank to find their ‘own’ song.. !

Ayushman Khurana nails down Abhimanyu Roy aka Bubla in every frame.. yes, there is a lot of Vicky in this Abhi, but his madness for Bindu to his repeated heart break everything stays authentic.. Even his Bengali! So much does he want to hold on to things or people in his life that he does not even graduate away from the typewriter, that he uses to recreate the happy and illusive world of him and Bindu, the one he wants no one else to know but her!

Its not easy to play a messy and whimsical Bindu, but Parineeti Chopra does a decent job of it.. Is it sheer coincidence though that in all her movies she mostly does not know what she wants and why she is a sudden transformed personality as she hops, skips and jumps! One cannot stop thinking though that where would an actress of Alia’s calibre would have taken Bindu to.. She looks lovely though, sometimes a bit too lovely to feel real for Abhi’s Bindu…

The supporting cast [ especially Abhi’s parents (Rajatabha and Aparajita are both lovely) and his friends..] is one of the strengths of the movie and add good varied flavor to the narrative.. The overall music works even beyond the nostalgia captured in that one audio cassette, and Parineeti’s singing potential clearly shows..

It is rather surprising for me that the film has gotten such discouraging responses from critics and audience both! Yes, it falls short of the very high expectations that were built up post the very refreshing set of teasers.. Infact quite a few spunky moments from the trailer have been disappointingly edited out in the final theatrical release taking away some sheen…

But MPB still has its heart in the right place, and remains achingly poignant, and nostalgically charming!!

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