Shahid Kapoor got married earlier this year to the pretty young lady – Mira Rajput. He then went on to star in the newest Dharma Productions – Shaandaar, as in GRANDIOSE – or as fans and critics stated A DUD OF GRANDIOSE PROPORTIONS! Disgruntled and green-eyed Shahid fans have started blaming the newly wedded wife for brining immense ill-luck to Shahid. Ironically, it’s an ill-fated career slump his ex-girlfriend Kareena Kapoor faced too, when she publicly dumped Shahid for the much wealthier playboy Saif – the younger Nawab of Pataudi. Kareena hasn’t been able to salvage her career since. The last hit movie she delivered on her own shoulders was “Jab We Met”, ironically again, with Shahid Kapoor as the leading protagonist in the movie.
Shahid has been drool worthy pretty much since Kareena dumped him, but you have to wonder – what possessed or compelled Shahid to take on Shaandaar? It cannot be a handsome renumeration from Karan Johar! From the last we heard Mira Rajput is seriously well-off and given their marriage was a “Shaandaar” Punjabi and Rajput affair – dowry must have taken care of Shahid’s monetary problems for a lifetime.
The movie also stars Alia, whom I am an unabashed fan of. She’s stunning, raw and just capable of great performances given the right script. Not only was her talent wasted in this weirdly juvenile movie, but she’s actually opened herself up for painful jokes about her intellect yet again – remember AIB?
The script had potential – it skirts around issues of gender disparity, patriarchy, positive body image and female empowerment. Pankaj Kapoor has two daughters – one is gorgeous, insomniac, illegitimately birthed from his previous relationship, and the other (his daughter in real life) is sweet, caring and overweight. Pankaj is an adoring father and stands by his daughters as a meek Indian father usually does. Pankaj assumes his insomniac daughter will be able to sleep the day she meets her prince charming, and his overweight daughter will be able to fend for herself at the hands of a vacuous, self-absorbed, skinny women loving, foul-mouthed, arriviste Sindhi boy. Both assumptions are really counter productive to the idea about women’s empowerment – women do not need a man to restfully sleep at night, or a man to tell them how pretty their bodies are. And that my friends is literally what the movie is about – girls finding the right guys and dumping the wrong guys.
I do think it was my bad to expect more from the collaboration of Anurag Kashyap – my favorite director ever, and Karan Johar – my favorite celerity bitch-fest show-host ever! Their partnership has produced loads of crap in the past such as Bombay Velvet. But it’s not like Karan is not capable of making socially sensitive movies. Take Gippi for instance. The story grapples with issues about body image, broken marriages and kids of divorces with magnificent charm! But maybe social filth and carnage depicted by Anurag, and over-the-top-drama and insane color palettes depicted by Karan Johar cannot really ever converge in cinematic artistry. So let’s request the Lord of Movies that the bromance between Anurag and Karan ends for once and for all!
My disappointment with the movie is possibly due to my misplaced expectations with Shahid and Alia. Shahid has spoilt the audience by delivering power packed performances such as Kaminey, Haider, Jab We Met and so many more. Similarly Alia has been a stunner in practically every project, except of course her debut role in Student of the Year. I just expect better from the two and wasn’t really sure what to make of the mess they left behind with Shaandaar.
As I work through my confusion, I recommend watching the movie only if you’d give anything to watch Europe, Shahid or Alia on large screen.