Looking forward to watching a good romantic story with your beloved this weekend? Well, one of this week’s releases holds promise of being a good romantic entertainer, at least that’s what the trailers (or rather, the chapters) promised us. Meri Pyaari Bindu is the latest offering from Yash Raj Films and stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra in the lead. The movie is directed by debutante Akshay Roy and produced by Maneesh Sharma, with music by Sachin-Jigar. I have a soft corner for films that harp on nostalgia and talk about childhood love, and Meri Pyaari Bindu ticks both the boxes here. But does it do complete justice to the ideas? Read our review to find out…

What’s it about

Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a successful author of sleazy horror movies like Chudail Ki Choli and Guitar Phobia. However, for the past three years, he has been suffering from writer’s block and struggling to write his next novel, much to the dismay of his publisher. The reason? He is now changing tracks to write a romantic novel based on his failed romance with his childhood bestie, Bindu Sharma (Parineeti Chopra). As he returns to his hometown in Kolkata to find inspiration, he begins to narrate to us how his entire life has been besotted with this feisty girl who moved to the house opposite his when they were little kids. The year was 1983, and their friendship blossomed over keema-samosa and green chutney, and their love for nostalgic songs. As the years progress, Abhimanyu continues to be obsessed with Bindu, but she is quite oblivious of his feelings and is harping on being a singer. They weave in and out of each other’s lives, as time moves by, till Bindu accepts his casual proposal and agrees to be his girlfriend. Happily ever after, you say? Like Abhimanyu confesses, no one talks about the life beyond ‘happily ever after’!

What’s Hot?

Meri Pyaari Bindu’s biggest strengths lie in the lead cast. Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra are both adorable in their roles, and it’s their magnetic, loveable chemistry that makes us almost forgive the sins of the movie. It has to be said that none of the actors here are breaking any grounds when it comes to their performances, but that has nothing to do with the capabilities of these actors; it’s just that the movie doesn’t offer them enough scope to do so. As the hero and the narrator of the plot, Ayushmann Khurrana’s impish charm helps us sail through a few mundane scenes. Parineeti Chopra gives another bubbly performance, something we so love her doing (even though there is a fear of repetition), and she has also sung well. She was terrific in the scene where she realises her music career is going nowhere. (ALSO READ: Loved Parineeti Chopra’s Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin? Wait until you hear the duet version with Sonu Nigam)

We also loved the sequence where she has an emotional reunion with her father (Prakash Belawadi, great as always) after years of estrangement. Between Ayushmann and Parineeti, the movie offers many cute moments, even if the plot struggles to move ahead. The actors who play Ayushmann’s Bengali parents are loveable. The light-hearted, breezy treatment works well for the movie, especially the first half, where Abhimanyu and Bindu’s friendship is established. And if you are a sucker for nostalgia, you would love the plethora of yesteryear songs used to enhance the plot. Sachin-Jigar’s score for the movie is a plus, especially the Haareya track. The dialogues are fab, and the cinematography decent.

What’s not?

While we have nothing to complain about the performances and the treatment, the movie suffers from the lack of plot advancement. We wanted so hard to invest ourselves in Abhi and Bindu’s love story, and were so curious to know what went wrong. But the screenplay takes its own sweet time to make these two a couple, but pushes them away in a matter of a few minutes. At least the first half was bearable, but the second half suffers largely because the plot has become stagnant by then. The major blame falls in the way Bindu’s character is written – we really don’t know what she wants in her life – one moment she wants to be a singer, then she wants to get married. It is a little hard to believe that she is unaware of her best friend’s feelings towards her, especially when girls are known to have a sixth sense about such matters. She is like this confused chick, who is taking advantage of her bestie and emotionally hurts him every time, or every guy she falls for. There comes a moment in the second half (no spoilers here) from whereon it is really hard to empathise with her. By then, Meri Pyaari Bindu has become like Runaway Bride meets Tamil movie Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya (later remade into Bollywood as Ekk Deewana Tha). The sequences that follow this moment feel really superficial.

I am glad that Akshay Roy hasn’t gone for a conventional ending here, but the writing in the concluding portions is lifeless and portions keep on dragging. Also the age of the protagonists doesn’t match with the year they are in. For example, they are shown to be in college in 2001, though they should have been passed out from college at least a couple of years back if they had met as five-year-olds in 1983. Even the actors aren’t shown to be aged up much even when they are supposed to have crossed 35 plus in age, except that Abhi has a beard and Bindu wears sari and a bindi. Just a minor hassle this one, but when has it happened that a sleazy novel author got national celeb status, and been invited to primetime news as a guest? (ALSO READ: Parineeti Chopra’s dramatic transformation to a hip style diva captured in just 7 looks)

PS – The ’90s is given a royal ignore when it came to both the songs and the costumes, with the actors dressing up like they were in 2017. Come on, one Govinda song have made no difference.

What to do

As a romantic entertainer, Meri Pyaari Bindu falls several levels short of expectations, especially having had seen those promising trailers. But it would have crash-landed badly, if it was not for extremely likeable performances of both Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, who brighten even dull scenes with their amazing performances. Watch Meri Pyaari Bindu if you are a fan of these two talented stars.

Our rating: 2.5 stars