Movie Review: Qarib Qarib Singlle, Here’s A Pleasant Trip With An Odd Couple

Director Tanuja Chandra returns with a romcom-cum-road movie, with remarkable performances from Irrfan Khan and Parvathy Thiruvothu

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Movie Review: Qarib Qarib Singlle, Here’s A Pleasant Trip With An Odd Couple
three stars

Opposites attract, and sometimes distract. You know that already. Now, the USP of this road movie is the fact that it elects to pick on a twosome who aren’t exactly in the flush of their youth. Whoa, they’re  even long in the tooth. And thank the lord for that. Any which way, the middle-aged duo manage to exude that lost quality called joie de vivre. Or the lust for life. Nice.

So, voila. Director Tanuja Chandra returns after a hiatus of a decade with Qarib Qarib Singlle (don’t ask me why the extrra ‘l’ in the Single), to check out the more positive aspects of online dating – and maybe who knows? – soulmating.

A Still From Qarib Qarib Singlle
A Still From Qarib Qarib Singlle

Clearly a sensitive directorial style alloyed with wryly humorous touches, had to be employed for the dramatury. Devoid of melodrama and quick-fix solutions for the situation of two disparate personalities looking for companionship and some more, QQS is a welcome change from the funky formula fantasies which clog the multiplexes week after week. Cheers.

Let me qualify the elation, however, with the proviso: alas, the story is papyrus thin and does run out of steam as the journey of Yogi (Irrfan Khan) and  Jaya (Parvathy Thiruvothu) progresses. Plus the backstory of the widowed working woman, Jaya, does give you an insight into her heart and mind. By contrast, Yogi, a poet, a jabberwocky gababout with deep pockets and a fashion disaster to boot, is just meant to be roguishly likeable. What makes him the way he is, go figure for yourself guys.

Anyway our Mr Chalk and Ms Cheddar connect online, meet up for coffee (better latte than never, is the message here) and in order to sparkle up the script, plan to travel through Rishikesh, Jaipur and Sikkim. Not entirely believable that, but what the heck, stranger things do transpire in the movies, don’t they?

Irfan Khan And Parvarthy In Qarib Qarib Singlle

Irrfan Khan And Parvarthy Thiruvothu In Qarib Qarib Singlle

Next: in the course of the picaresque plot, our Yogi and Jaya meet up with old flames, deal with unusual suspects, and instincitively hope for an escape from the humdrum. Glum they’re not, despite Ms Jaya’s uptight nature. Truth be told, you do wonder what if the roles had been reversed, showing the man to be a stuffed shirt and the woman, to be a no-holds-barred extrovert. Or would that have been a reprise of Jab We Met?

Never you mind such errant thoughts on my part. After all, here’s a feelwonderful, life-affirming endeavour. The outcome’s fluidly photographed by Eeshit Narain and smartly edited by Chandan Arora. Frequently, the zestful spirit is enhanced by Gazal Dhaliwal’s dialogue, especially when it comes to shooting funny one-liners.

The supporting acting crew including Neha Dhupia, Isha Sharwani and Luke Kenny deliver the goods efficiently.

Still From Qarib Qarib Singlle
Still From Qarib Qarib Singlle

The Kerala-based Parvathy Thiruvothu, avoids the glamour route for an endearingly lifelike performance. In real life she’s 29, going on 35 here. As always, Irrfan Khan is more than capable of springing up pleasant surprises, in this case displaying masterly comic timing. His wardrobe, though, makes your eyes boggle. Undoubtedly, the 50-year-old actor going on 40 for this role, is in terrific form.

With all its pros and cons,  there’s no harm in getting qarib qarib to this one, whether you’re singlle or doublle.

Image Source: youtube/zeestudios & twitter/qaribqaribsinglle