Movie Review: Shaandaar Is Surprisingly Underwhelming

Rashmi Daryanani , 22 Oct 2015
Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Shaandaar
Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt in Shaandaar

At Team MissMalini, we’ve got a fair number of people who want spoilers of films – they want to know what happens and what the movie is about beyond the stuff you see just in the trailers. So when I returned to the office after watching Shaandaar, I was asked the usual question: “So. Tell us everything. What’s the movie really about?”

And that’s where I faltered because truth be told? I’m still unsure what it’s really about. That’s mainly because Shaandaar seems like a fairly pointless film. Right from the trailer, you know the basic premise – a destination wedding that’s the merging of two super rich families (the Fundwanis, anyone?), and a love story featuring the sister-of-the-bride and the wedding planner. But that’s the thing: what you see in the trailer is pretty much what you get – there’s very little depth to the story beyond that. Not that there’s anything wrong with fun, frothy, exaggerated cinema. But it is a problem if you feel like you’re just consuming a string of over-the-top, trippy, WTF moments that ultimately seem to serve no purpose at all.

Which is not to say that the film is all bad. There are some good moments too – Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt deliver a few smiles in their scenes together, but it’s not a standout act for either of them because they don’t have a lot to work with. Pankaj Kapur is in ace form as always and the scenes between him and Shahid are definitely amongst the most watchable. Sanah Kapur is a natural, and particularly impresses in the climax scene. Vikas Verma is likable with his intentionally buffoon-like behaviour. Everyone in the supporting cast is good, too, and they all do their best to inject a little more into the film – with varying degrees of success.

So yes, you will, at some points in Shaandaar, let out a few chuckles. The problem is that there aren’t enough of those to pull off the wacky trip Vikas Bahl imagined. You can see where he wants to go with this movie, which is why it’s even more disappointing when it doesn’t work out. Instead, the film ends up feeling nonsensical and rather lacklustre – which is exactly what you don’t want a film called Shaandaar to end up looking like.

Rating: 1.5 stars.

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