Sentimentality towards old-fashioned technology is touching but it is no substitute for functionality. But I doubt Meri Pyaari Bindu will understand my point of view busy as it is channelling it as a stylistic tool to generate nostalgia and a script out of a ‘chaar inch by dhaai inch ka dirty secret.’
Not a bad idea to illustrate the deep bond of two childhood friends looped in a mix tape of their favourite songs, rounding up their various highs and lows.
In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, it was successfully explored to delve inside a disgruntled guy’s escape from mundane reality. But summoning retro to camouflage lazy writing and blandly iterate a widely acknowledged fondness for RD and Bappida’s timeless melodies is not only a great disservice to these greats but also our fond memories of a simpler era.
In the absence of nuance, all the gadgetry and dialogues overdosing on pop culture references beginning with the film’s title, are akin to the umpteen frames and furniture littering its two main characters’ rooms. While it doesn’t say much about their sloppy personalities, it sure reflects the messy state of Akshay Roy’s directorial debut written by Suprotim Sengupta.
Meri Pyaari Bindu is about Abhimanyu Roy (Ayushmann Khuranna) a MBA professional turned best-selling author of horror erotica with titles like Chudail Ki Choli and Awara Dhoban to his credit. Obviously writing of this nature can be enormously demanding and has dried up his creative juices.
Between deflecting the clamorous attention of his hyper Bengali family (Rajatava Dutta’s James Earl Jones reminiscent warmth is most conspicuous) and a pushy publishing agent, he starts to create fiction inspired by his own life. It makes way for two of the most overused narrative techniques of all time — the voiceover and the flashback.
At the centre of his story is a South Indian girl named Bindu (Parineeti Chopra), the padosan he laid eyes on as a Chhayageet-devouring 1980s child, who’s been his BFF ever since. Their ethnicity or Kolkata’s vibrant backdrop, tossing in a bit of obligatory Bangla, football and conch shell, is purely cosmetic in its purpose. As is Bindu and her Bhondu’s mutual love for Bollywood songs.
The point is he is a smitten kitten and she’s his over-romanticized adolescent definition of ‘the one.’
It’s a problem.
The film flaunts Bindu as some sort of a free-spirited bohemian when she’s really this unlikable, untrustworthy, selfish, vain, flighty opportunist sweet-talking Abhimanyu into catering to her needs all the time.
Unlike Jab We Met’s Shahid Kapoor, Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Naa’s Imran Khan or Hasee To Phasee’s Sidharth Malhotra, Meri Pyaari Bindu’s Abhimanyu is unable to make sense of such compassion. He is a blind, bonafide fool and you so wish he wasn’t. I almost felt a sense of relief when he finally, even if jokingly, acknowledged her ‘rebound mein bhi exploitation.’
Meri Pyaari Bindu’s show of strength comes from its two actors battling shoddy characterisation.
Parineeti has often shown flair in playing people, who can’t help themselves. She brings lightness to oddballs. As Bindu, she uses all her spunk, songstress skills and freshly acquired glamour to distract us from the idiocy of her on-screen behaviour. Vanquished and arguing still, Parineeti Chopra you’re a wonder.
What amused me though is how little these so-called childhood pals know about each other beyond a compilation of chartbusters, one that is exposed every time Meri Pyaari Bindu abruptly reveals one’s ambition and another’s domestic cravings. Her struggle is unreal and unintentionally comical. One minute Bindu is bungling up a job interview for a dubbing artist by seductively reading out a baingan ka bharta recipe as if it was a segment of Koffee With Karan, next she lands a record deal as easily as buying a dress from Zara.
I am certainly not averse to whimsical protagonists.
Everything that I dislike about Bindu could also be used to her advantage in creating an unapologetic, compulsive attention seeker. Except under Roy and Sengupta’s infuriatingly daft and regressive outlook, Meri Pyaari Bindu relapses into indefensible stupidity.