It is tough to live up to expectations and when Band Baaja Baaraat had released last year there were zilch. However the film turned out to be a pleasant surprise and emerged a winner at the box office.
So there are lot of expectations that are attached with Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (LVRB), since it comes from same team behind the “successful film” Band Baaja Baarat(BBB). But does it live up to the expectations? Read on to find out.
Dimple (Parineeti Chopra), Raina(Dipanita Sharma) & Saira(Aditi Sharma) discover they have been duped by a single person using different names and getups. This person goes by the real name of Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh) we presume as that is a part of the film’s title anyway. So all three ladies team up to extract revenge on him and hire a spunky sales girl (Anushka Sharma) to con this man in return. As the con-man & girl interact amidst predictable twist and turns they find themselves falling for each other.
The biggest disadvantage of making a film post a successful one is that consciously or unconsciously there is a comparison of the latter with former. Much to the disadvantage something similar happens with this film. The first half of the film is very much in the Delhi mode where BBB hangover is very evident and appeals only in spurts. Lavish but gaudy homes and offices , rich businessmen dressed in loud coloured suits and so on. The con done by Ranveer Singh on all three ladies is mediocre. An episode involving Parineeti is still okay but those involving Dipanita & Aditi are dull & boring.
Things perk up slightly with introduction of Anushka Sharma & when the girl trio hatch elaborate plans to con Ranveer. Post intermission it is quite some fun to watch Anushka taking Ranveer for a ride and the trio following them closely and planning their next move. But suddenly love, redemption, guilt and other clichés that plague a typical YRF film make their entry from there on which it is a totally downhill journey. Why does a con have to be apologetic and regret the fact that he/she cheated people? Similarly Anushka’s character also starts developing sudden and unconvincing guilt pangs and the movie goes for a toss. Dullness extends and by time the movie ends you cease to care for it or its characters for it doesn’t involve or engage you.
Habib Faisal’s dialogues are good and witty at places but Aditya Chopra’s story & Devika Bhagat’s screenplay are the biggest culprits. What could have been an enjoyable con film ends up as a very average fare, thanks to so many clichés and convenient twists & turns imbibed in the script. The way the three ladies zero in on Ranveer’s present identity is so very feeble. Moreover each con episodes are least involving and enjoyable. Con films like Bunty & Babli, Bluffmaster, Khosla ka Ghosla worked because those con episodes were funny,amusing and engaging. But here it falls flat missing an element of fun which is so necessary for a film like this.
However the writers deserve a pat on back for etching out all female characters strongly. The characters of Dipanita, Aditi & Pariniti are backbone of this venture and they do complete justice to it. Instead of using these women as mere props, they are made an integral part of the story which is commendable and redeeming.
Parineeti Chopra makes a confident debut as a loud, brash Delhi girl which automatically helps to add some zing to an actor’s performance stealing the show. Dipanita Sharma looks classy as the swish upmarket corporate executive and acts well though she looks quite jaded in close-ups. Aditi Sharma is also cute & convincing as a naive Lucknow girl and could have been given more screen time. Anushka Sharma is good & gives a drool worthy bikini moment for her male fans. Although to quite an extent the BBB hangover is visible here; she needs to put on a few kilos too for her character looks pale at quite a few places.
Actor Akshay Anand (remember seeing him in films like Ghulam, Zakham etc) comes back from obscurity for a two scene – three dialogue role.
Salim Sulaiman’s music score is also disappointing along with the background score taking its inspiration from KILL BILL soundtrack as its theme. Jigar Ka tukda (first song of the film) sounds like a by-product of Ainvayi Ainvayi.
Ranveer Singh was likeable in his debut film because it was a somewhat different & refreshing debut alas an effort to be the next superstar is so visible here. Notice the constant display of the torso which makes his performance average and could have been much better. Also why that unwanted ode to SRK with the Baazigar caller tune? Was it even necessary?
In the end, Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl ends being up a typical flawed Bollywood film. Despite its premise having potential this one ends up being an average fare with ample scope for improvement.
Rating – 2/5