Film: “Running Shaadi”; Director: Amit Roy; Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Amit Sadh, Arsh Bajwa, Bijendra Kala ; Rating: **1/2
This film, with the recent controversy that plagued its title, suffers from the curse of its name. The constant bleeps in between the dialogues is a frustrating, kill joy. And that is not the only one.
Though with an interesting premise and a well-drafted screenplay, the film fails to hold a big-screen charm, simply because it is treated like a modern day, quickie befitting a web-series.
The characters, Nimrat Kaur aka Nimmi and Ram Bharose are not well etched. They unknowingly break the very mould they are supposed to be existing in. And the fault lies not with the actors but with the creators of their universe.
To begin with, the story is primarily about Ram Bharose aka Chottu a young forlorn Bihari immigrant in Amritsar who works in a saree shop belonging to one Mr Singh.
Chottu is the man Friday for his employer and his family too, especially his daughter Nimmi, who has no qualms in informing him that she had sex and would need an abortion.
It is only after Nimmi’s 19th birthday, when Chottu back-chats her father for his bad planning and management skills that he finds himself jobless. Being in a small town, he has no chance of securing another job. And since necessity is the mother of invention, he hits upon an idea of creating a website that would assist young couples in their runaway marriage plans.
So with the help of a geek friend of his who he addresses as Cyber and Nimmi, they set up a website called Running Shaadi and they clandestinely help couples get married.
It is only after Nimmi’s father learns about her abortion, he decides to get her married off immediately. How Chottu helps Nimmi run away and marry the guy of her dreams forms the crux of the tale.
The plot though predictable from the very first frame, is interesting, and entertaining. The film is supposed to be an out-right comedy, but mid-way the narrative loses steam. It does pick up its tempo in the third act. Nevertheless, what keeps you glued to your seats throughout, are the earnest performances by the entire cast.
Taapsee Pannu as Nimmi is effervescent and charming. She is so natural that you believe in her flawed character and you root for her, when she is anxious and sad.
Similarly Amit Sadh too wins your heart, as he honestly essays Ram Bharose. He plays the street smart, yet ignorant lover boy to the hilt. And his onscreen chemistry with Taapsee is palpable.
Arsh Bajwa though in a measured role as Bharose’s friend Cyberjeet, is outstanding. He is refreshing and elicits a chuckle with ease.
The rest of the supporting cast range from serious to quirky and they deliver sincerely.
With moderate production values, the film is shot on actual locales giving the film a realistic feel. The cinematography, editing and action sequences are of good quality and overall, the film is worth a watch just to unwind.