Lessons learnt from SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI: A good choreographer need not be a good dancer. A director need not be a good actor. And for a film to have a decent run, the casting needs to be taken seriously, rather than giving out roles based on friendship in the industry.
The premise of the film, per say is fresh. The lead actor, Boman Irani plays his age and acts his age and does everything right expected of him. But like a good dancer paired with a bad partner, so is Boman's Farhad Pastakiya. Boman is paired with Farah Khan (Shirin) who fails to light up to his level of sincerity in his performance.
This film is a crack at the Parsi community. And although most would take it on the chin up, a few within the community may find it in bad taste. I mean it's Ok to take a dig or two, but to have a major part featuring farts, loony Parsi's, crazy fights at society meets and how the community is dwindling and there are no girls left ("only divorcees and widowers will be your next choice," Farhad's mother tells him), is taking the joke too far.
To be fair, there are a few cute and funny moments but all that is thrown out of the window, when Shirin's dad wakes up from a coma, almost seven years later, and asks for a Dukes Mangola!
Farhad is a 45-year-old mama's boy who works as a salesman in a Bra and Panty shop. His entire neighbourhood wants to see him marry, including his mum who is always getting him to meet prospective brides. Farhad too wants to marry, but he has not yet found the right girl, and he is willing to wait
He finds his mate in Shirin who walks in to his shop one day. But as fate would have it, even though Farhad's mother is 'over the moon' at her son's choice, she soon changes her tune.
Boman fits himself to the role with sincerity. But whenever the camera moves on to Farah, you feel that the lady is not doing enough or giving enough to the character. It's as though she is having an idle chat with an old friend. There's no attempt to be the character she is supposed to play.
First-time director Bela Sehgal does well with an off-beat script, but casting is a big let down. Also, her constant references in scenes to DIL TO PAGAL HAI, DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYEGE and HUM AAPKE HAI KAUN show that the creativity department was short on stuff.
A couple of songs are peppy, especially 'Rumba mein samba' sung by the evergreen Usha Uthup. On the whole, if Farhad's Shirin was a better choice, who knows, the film might have taken a different turn.
Observations from SHIRIN FARHAD KI TOH NIKAL PADI: A good director is also a fantastic actor -- Tigmanshu Dhulia proved that in GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. A good choreographer is also a mind-blowing dancer - Remo D'Souza has proved that on JHALAK DIKHLA JA.