'De De Pyaar De' review: Tabu, Ajay Devgn can't save this messy family drama

De De Pyaar De review: Tabu, Ajay Devgn cant save this messy family drama

Lack of a storyline is hardly compensated by the presence of the stars on board.

By Anita Iyer

Published: Thu 16 May 2019, 3:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 May 2019, 1:36 PM

Fifty-year-old businessman Ashish (Ajay Devgn) finds love in 26-year-old Ayesha (Rakul Preet Singh) and takes her home to meet his family. What awaits him during this surprise visit is chaos and the tangled family relations he had left behind. Manju (Tabu) is his ex-wife, who is being pursued by a shady tenant, VK (Jimmy Shergill), who customarily has a basket of organic fruits handy.

The premise of the story is simple. A middle-aged man takes a young girl home to meet his family. What ensues is awkward situations between his ex-wife, the family, and the young catch.

Instead of diving right into it, writer Luv Ranjan spends the entire first half of the film telling us a love story in London about how the couple met. It is a tiring, superfluous first half that could have been easily done away with in a couple of scenes. We know where the story will go from here, so why not cut to the chase?

Instead, we spend an entire hour following a dolled-up Ayesha, who is trying to be a hard-to-get girl while herself chasing the older man. Devgn, on the other hand, plays it cool, as he portrays his age and doesn't put in an extra effort to impress the girl, or us.

The only respite in the first half is Javed Jaffrey as the therapist, who slams down the relationship as an 'old man looking for youth and young girl looking for money' arrangement. But after three scenes, he's gone.

Just when we touch the intermission, the couple is in India to meet the family but they are clearly unwelcome. It is at this point that you desperately hope that Tabu will infuse the much-needed spark in the film.

But what we are served instead is a messy family drama - a frowning daughter who doesn't want her estranged father around as her prospective in-laws come to talk marriage, a love-struck son, and an overbearing father (Alok Nath). The film conveniently strays into this family drama, where the viewer is lost wondering where the film is headed.

Jimmy Shergill is his usual self, playing the side role as VK, mouthing borrowed poetic lines, dressed in floral jackets and clear-framed glasses.

Luv Ranjan's claim to fame is the 'battle of the sexes' genre and he has successfully created a franchise out of it with the 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' series. He digresses from his comfort space in 'De De Pyaar De' and attempts a family drama-comedy, but misses the bull's eye. Halfway through the film, you get an impression that Ranjan may be a writer with no story at hand and is just tying up all the loose ends.

The movie tries too hard to make us laugh with its on-the-face comic punches, that seldom land or miss the point entirely. Unlike his earlier films where he writes and directs, Ranjan has roped in debutant Akiv Ali to direct this time.

A known film editor for over a decade, Akiv does a fabulous job of putting together a trailer that made the film seem promising, but the full-length movie lacks substance. The few comic punches we see in the film are the ones we have already seen in the two-minute trailer.

Straying away from his films reeking of misogyny in the past, 'De De Pyaar De' might be the weakest story Luv Ranjan has brought to us in recent times. The lack of a storyline is hardly compensated by the presence of the stars he managed to get on board.

With a sprinkling of humourous moments, 'De De Pyaar De' is a messy family drama you may watch or choose to skip.

Cast: Tabu, Rakul Preet and Ajay Devgn, Javed Jaffrey, Jimmy Shergill
Director: Akiv Ali
Ratings: 2/5

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