With great power comes great responsibility. Let’s give it a twist. With a hit film like Pyaar Ke Side Effects and a crackling pairing of Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat, the responsibility of making an equally good sequel lies on the shoulder of director Saket Chaudhary and lead pair Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan. Ah well, they have managed to reach the goal, though they have stumbled occasionally. Shaadi Ke Side/Effects talks about modern day marriages and the troubles faced by today’s couple, especially when dealing with an unexpected child. Yes, it struggles to lay certain points but perfection is never an easy task nor something we always like.
Sid (Farhan Akhtar) and Trisha (Vidya Balan), in their attempt to spice up their marriage, let go of themselves in a moment of passion, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. And then starts the phase where everything Sid does is totally wrong and Trisha becomes a mother but forgets the wife in her. Sid, in his attempt to find happiness, turns to escapism. Advice for some ME time comes from Trisha’s brother-in-law (Ram Kapoor), but it adds more fuel to the fire. You then travel with Sid and Trisha to see whether they survive things worse than a nuclear attack.
The story’s basic premise is decades old, about couple’s equation after marriage and children. What matters here is the treatment. On a positive note, the treatment by director and film’s writer Saket Chaudhary is quite frothy with humour and has a good balance of light and emotional moments. You connect with the couple trying to live a balanced life. When Sid tries to be with a pregnant Tisha by carrying a water balloon around his stomach, you smile with amusement. You also are with him, when he tries to understand her irritation, but fails. What does not work here is that it is a film more about the lost husband and his attempts to find his marriage and himself. The wife’s angle is not played well. Yet, you realise that Sid is more the prey here.
We are glad that Chaudhary chose to pick Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan to play Sid and Trisha. Being a father himself, one accepts Farhan playing this role easily. His performance of a confused yet understanding, slightly irritated but caring Sid is natural. His funny moments are genuinely hilarious and his pain and troubles are touching. It is difficult to see such effortlessness in an actor. And he is ably supported by Vidya as the lovely wife Trisha who loses herself in motherhood. With the power-packed performances in the past, playing Trisha must have been easier for Vidya. While Ram Kapoor, Ila Arun and Rati Agnihotri make an honest effort, Vir Das as the junkie Manav is terrific. He plays Manav with ease. Look for his Panchmola angle. Sadly, we sob at the utter waste of a talented actor like Purab Kohli as the hot neighbour.
We wish the music could have been more dhaasu, pardon the language. None of the songs keep returning to you after a while. The look of the film is be crisp and runs along a neat line, courtesy cinematographers Manoj Lobo and Rishi Punjabi. A special mention must be made for the costumes by Jayati Bose. Sid and Trisha come across as real people. Clothes maketh a man and a movie too.
Perfection is not something you will find in Shaadi Ke Side/Effects, but that works well for this film. It is real, funny and appealing in terms of sensibilities. Make an attempt to see this film at least once and if you feel like watching it again, it works for us too.
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