Shaadi, barbaadi and all that
This review is also titled - Same old, same old. Just a week away from a heady experience of Imtiaz Ali’s Highway, where the female protagonist says that she doesn’t want to get married or have kids, that’s not the plan (yet), she just wants the journey to go on; Shaadi ke Side Effects comes to you like the reprimanding relative who tells you the pros and cons of marriage. ‘Beta shaadi kar lo, umar ho gayi hai...’ the oft heard sentence for all those on the wrong end of the 20s and then some more.
Shaadi ke Side Effects is exactly why beta doesn’t want to get married.
Sid (Farhan Akhtar) and Trisha (Vidya Balan) do what most lovers do, eventually, if they haven’t killed each other or parted ways - they get married. The first part of the whole marriage rigmarole is nice, flirty, fun and then the next inevitable thing happens. Also known as the baby. And their happiness dives head first into a pile of dirty diapers. End of story.
While Pyar ke Side Effects had deftly dealt with the issues of a modern day relationship, Shaadi ke Side Effects tries to deal with the marriage chapter. It is fun for a while then it just goes down the same alley. There’s nothing new. Even with no great experience in the serious relationship and marriage front, pretty much everyone knows what the problems are in a marriage and when the baby comes in.
Farhan Akhtar pulls off his act very well, his comic timing and dead pan humour works. Vidya Balan is also just as impressive as always.
We weren’t expecting otherwise, but despite the easy camaraderie Shaadi ke Side Effects bores you, just like (the usual idea of) marriage. The bickering about the baby’s feeding time, the wailing at night, the wet towels and of course the chores for new parents who no longer have time left to romance. Seen that, heard that - ergo, don’t want to do that. We’ll go the Highway way for now.
Bollywood deals deftly with clichés. Marriage is another of very many of them and this movie, unfortunately falls into that pit. It is all sorts of tragic. We had high expectations from this one (don’t even ask why!)
The first half of the movie gets you laughing. You can enjoy it, the jokes are great, the characters are well introduced and all is fair till the second half comes with a box of Kleenex and we aren’t in a mood to cry. Sorry. The whole logic of ‘Hello men, some white lies don’t hurt’ is too tried and tested to work well. Sid gets some me time and Trisha gets a nanny *slow clap*.
Giving credit where it is due, Saket Chaudhary has made some great characters with Vir Das, Ila Arun, Purab Kohli and Ram Kapoor and all of them are a treat to watch. Each of them bring their special bit to the movie.
The problem I had with Shaadi ke Side Effects is that we are tired of sympathising with the husband. No, we aren’t playing the feminist card here, it would have been nice had Trisha gotten some me time too rather than getting stuck with the baby and the nanny. I thought life had advanced since. But alternately, keeping the story with Sid also works because the nagging, cranky wife is also a tad bit over-done trope for a female protagonist in Bollywood.
If I haven’t ranted enough, Shaadi ke Side Effects is not as much fun. Watch it, but if you have a choice, watch something else!