'Jabariya Jodi' movie review: Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra make a mess of this wedding party

Jabariya Jodi, movie review, film, movie, Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Aparshakti Khurana, Jaaved Akhtar, Pankaj Mishra

The film pulls us in too many directions and lacks a cohesive script to keep us engaged.

By Ambica Sachin

Published: Thu 8 Aug 2019, 12:24 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Aug 2019, 10:38 AM

How do you take a serious social issue like ‘forced marriages’ and turn it into two-and-a-half hours of mindless ‘entertainment’ injected with a heavy dose of humour alongside a haphazard plotline?
Don’t worry, Prashant Singh, the director of romantic comedy Jabariya Jodi will show you.

Jabariya Jodi is based on the concept of ‘pakadwa vivaah’ or forced marriages that is rampant in parts of Bihar and UP,  where eligible grooms are kidnapped by hired hands and married at gunpoint to girls, whose families can’t afford the heavy dowry demanded by the boy’s side.

Sidharth Malhotra plays Abhay Singh, a Patna based goon who has been brainwashed by his dictatorial father Hukum Dev Singh (played quite menacingly by Javed Jaffrey) into thinking he’s performing a social service rather than a criminal act through his ‘groom kidnapping’ business.

When his long lost childhood sweetheart Babli Yadav (Parineeti Chopra) steps back into his life, lo and behold, Abhay Singh undergoes a change of heart.

Sidharth Malhotra’s USP is undoubtedly his chocolate boy hero image, notwithstanding his dark turn in movies like Ek Villain, Ittefaq and Aiyarri. Despite his best efforts, Malhotra unfortunately can’t pull off the desi boy look. His tapori act seems forced and his gelled hair, pristine white pants and multi-hued shirts, do nothing to give credence to his small-town boy image. He is too suave for this movie set in the hinterlands of India.

On her part Parineeti Chopra’s flaming red hair is extremely distracting (as are her bizarre midriff baring outfits) and it doesn’t help that half the time she is acting coy and fiddling with her extensions.

In a patriarchal society where women are seen as mere commodities to be married off or doormats (like Abhay’s mother), Babli ‘Bomb’, as she is referred to for her firecracker personality, had great potential, but the character sadly fails to live up to it.

The lead pair certainly turn in ‘stand out’ performances - they are so out of place in small town Patna that they stick out like sore thumbs – with loud makeup and garish clothes.

Both Abhay and Babli’s characters, do a complete flip in the second half of the movie – from bold, don’t give-a-damn attitude sporting youngsters, they start acting like lovelorn couples mooning over each other – to the extent you get tired of the act.

Sanjay Mishra as Babli’s long suffering, sleepwalk prone father Duniyalal does a fantastic job and gets ample screen space to show off his histrionics. So does Aparshakti Khurana as Babli’s poetry sprouting friend, Santosh Pathak, who walks around with his heart on his sleeve.

If only the makers had kept it a pure mindless fun movie, it might have worked. Jabariya Jodi pulls us in too many directions and lacks a cohesive script to keep us engaged. The only saving grace, if it can be called that, is some fabulous dialogues that keep you chuckling even as you wait for the movie to come to an end. Much like this gem, which the hero’s friend sprouts at one point: “Jabariya shaadi is like Chinese goods, you can’t guarantee how long it will last.” We only wish the movie hadn’t lasted so long.
Movie: Jabariya Jodi
Director: Prashant Singh
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Aparshakti Khurana, Javed Jaffrey, Sanjay Mishra
Rating: 2 out of 5

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