Bollywood can sometimes surprise you when you least expect it. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar is one such example. For starters, the title makes you expect a typical boy meets girl story. However, this movie is anything but that. Directed by Dibaker Banerjee and co-written with Varun Grover, this is a story about two people in a seemingly impossible situation who simply have to help each other. Sandeep Walia aka Sandy (Parineeti Chopra) escapes a murder attempt. She is thrown together with Satinder Dahiya aka Pinky (Arjun Kapoor) when he finds out that the assassin would have finished him off as well.
She plays the role of a highly educated, high-ranking official in a leading Indian bank, and he is a disgraced policeman from the Haryana police force. The two embark on a journey from Gurgaon to the town of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, and slowly the real reason why the killer is hunting for her is revealed. Even though initially they end up helping each other because they have no other choice, eventually they end up bonding and help each other get out of the sticky situation.
Chopra and Kapoor both perform well though their characterization lacks depth. Another couple that they encounter in Pithoragarh is more interesting than the lead couple itself. Neena Gupta does a lovely job of the role given to her and proves yet again why she is considered a veteran actress. Throughout the narration, the performances and everything are understated to such an extent that at a point, it becomes too much. The story falters in the middle but gets back on track after an interesting yet horrifying turn of events. The moral of the story seems to be that ‘Kindness can be found in the most unexpected of places.’
A twisted tale
Dibaker Banerjee as a director, has a fan following of his own. His works have always been offbeat, racy, and intense. However, this is definitely not him at his best. The storyline could have been interpreted much more interestingly faulters. Even though it has the potential to become an intense thriller it does exactly the opposite. The film is poorly scripted. The dialogues are fine and make way for a few laughs, but considering the expectations you have when the movie is from a critically acclaimed director and when things turn out quite the opposite, it is only natural to come away disappointed.
The first half of the movie is bearable, and we assume that it is setting the pace for a racy second half, but that’s not the case here. Banerjee’s scripting suffers throughout the story. There are just one or two scenes that make the mark. Some good examples of the genius that you expect of the director are the long-drawn opening scene or the scene where Sandeep breaks down and gets emotional. There are several places in the story where you simply cannot figure out what is happening. The sound mixing only makes things worse, with dialogues being inaudible in many places.
A few good moments
Sandeep and Pinky’s entry in the narrative is interesting. The way in which Sandeep breaks down in front of the older woman points out that Parineeti Chopra has talent that could have been put to better use. How both Sandeep and Pinky convince the old couple to let them stay along with them is heart-rending, but that is all that this film has to offer. Things go downhill from here. The only scene worth mentioning in the second half is when the bank manager Sumit(Sukant Goel) attacks Sandeep. The climax of the film, infact is a complete letdown.
Parineeti Chopra delivers a decent performance, Arjun Kapoor a restrained one. Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav, as the older couple, are charming. Sukant Goel, as the bank manager delivers a convincing performance. Anil Mehta’s cinematography captures the locales of Pithoragarh astoundingly well. Rohit Chaturvedi’s costumes are simple and lifelike, which completely works for the film. Aparna Sud and Garima Mathur’s production design is mention-worthy. Bakul Baljeet Matiyani’s editing can be blamed for a boring and draggy second half.