Thrilling love story that keeps one hooked

Film: Yeh Saali Aashiqui

Cast: Vardhan Puri, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Ruslaan Mumtaz

Director: Cherag Ruparel

Rating: ***1/2

Yeh Saali Aashiqui is refreshingly different from the usual trope served when launching an industry newcomer. It is a love story alright but with twists and turns that keep you thrilled throughout. Vardhan Puri, the brilliant actor Amrish Puri’s grandson, makes his debut with this film and fortunately for him, he has not chosen an easy breezy subject that is designed to showcase his muscles or his dancing skills. His character is real and the graph poses a serious challenge for the new actor. This is a film that challenges his acting skills and he manages to impress.

Vardhan plays Saahil Mehra, a student in a catering college. An orphan who moonlights in a restaurant, Sahil is a sorted and kind boy. He’s leading an uneventful life till in comes Mittee (Shivalika Oberoi), a new student in his college. Saahil falls for Mittee’s beauty and they soon start dating. And then Saahil starts seeing the red flags around Mittee, but every time he goes back to her as she has a valid reason for her out of character behaviour. Is Saahil imagining things or is he really being deceived is the question that the audience keeps searching for the answer to, along with Saahil. And that keeps us hooked to the film. This is definitely not a regular, soppy love story but a delightfully wicked plot (written by Vardhan and director of the film, Cherag Ruparel) that keeps us surprised throughout. Saahil thinks he’s found a girl of his dreams in Mittee but soon both realise that there’s more to it than what meets the eye.

What makes this plot more exciting is that this is not the typical goody-goody Bollywood heroine that you are used to, especially for a debut role. Shivalika, who’s no stranger to film sets as she has been an assistant director, makes a confident debut in front of the camera in this revenge drama.

Vardhan, however, stands out as he has more of a challenge (revealing the reason for this would be giving out spoilers) and he carries it off with a lot of natural ease. The boy might not be any comparison to his grand dad’s personality but he surely has got some of his acting genes. The plot and the characters come with so many layers that the actors could have easily succumbed to the temptation of overdoing it, but thankfully both don’t. Even though Sonalika looks a bit older than the character she plays, it seems all okay at the end of it. A lot of the credit should go to the director Cherag Ruparel. The climax disappoints a wee bit as things seem to fall far too conveniently in place. Watch this if you like thrillers, because this surely keeps you engrossed through the two plus hours of its duration.

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