Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Parineeti Chopra, Aparajita Auddy, Rajatava Dutta
Director: Akshay Roy
Steeped in nostalgia, ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ makes for a fun watch. An unconventional love story which leaves you with a smile on your lips and a lump in your throat.
For Abhimanyu ‘Bubla’ Roy, the quintessential good Bengali boy, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, it is love at first sight. His free-spirited neighbor, Bindu (Parineeti Chopra) – footloose, impulsive and unpredictable – is a much more complex individual. She is predictably inconsistent in her affections, insensitive to the needs of people who care about her and at times, almost selfish in getting her way. And while, it looks like they are just meant to be the perfect opposites-attract-kind-of-couple, something keeps them close, yet, so far apart.
This childhood love story has all the makings of a perfect Bollywood romance and yet, the two best friends fail to strike the right balance when it comes to making the relationship work.
One person in this relationship is always okay to play the second fiddle – like Abhimanyu, the novelist in this saga says, he is okay to be the Samba to her Gabbar, the Circuit to her Munna, the Bhola to her Guruji. The idea of this ‘love’ is so perfect in one’s mind that you don’t mind being manipulated to do the other’s bidding. Submitting to the power of such complete love might rob you of a sense of control over the relationship but even that feeling is liberating because it makes you happy.
We all know of relationships like this – where one person is the ‘giver’ all along – that one person in a relationship, who is taken for granted – that one person who is ready to be the pillow and the punch bag.
And then, there is the other person in the relationship – who is almost always blind to how selfless your love has been. It doesn’t matter to them that you have consistently been their shoulder to cry on, complicit in all their deeds and available for them no matter what. They will still find a reason to bail out on you, something somewhere will always be imperfect for them and that’s a reason good enough for them to let go.
Abhimanyu and Bindu’s relationship is a little like that – complete in so many ways and yet, left wanting in so many others.
Ayushmann Khurrana is a natural in his part. Much like his portrayal in ‘Vicky Donor’ (2012) in which he was completely convincing as the Dilli da munda, in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ he is very credible as a Mama’s boy. The smattering of Bengali he uses is almost impeccable. There’s an inherent naiveté about his performance that tugs at your heartstrings.
We have seen Parineeti play these feisty, rebel-without-a-cause portrayals before and she is effortless playing her bit.
It is the supporting cast and their effectiveness that raises the fun element of this romantic comedy. The eyebrow-raising typical Bengali mother, the indulgent Bengali father, the sometimes overtly affectionate eccentric extended family and almost ‘dependable’ college friends – the mix of this cast is just right.
Akshay Roy uses a lot of old Calcutta as his canvas and I couldn’t help but feel homesick. It’s a charming world that he builds in this film – warm, comforting and familiar.
‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ is about the allure of impossible relationships – the familiarity of friendship and the frustrating complexity of love. This film and its characters grow on you much after you have left the theatre.
Watch this one, it will make you smile.