Movie Review - SORRY BHAI

ACTORS: Sanjay Suri, Sharman Joshi, Chitrangada Singh

Afamily of four in this this film - father (Boman Irani), mother (Shabana Azmi) and two grown male siblings (Sanjay Suri, Sharman Joshi) - should ring a certain bell of truth at most nuclear homes with the same demographic.

The parents rarely display their affection in public. Their unconditional love is a given, but rarely said. The mother is inevitably a strict voice with a veto power on all matters at home. The father makes light of many things the mom often takes too seriously. Between them, the family swings on a sweet balance. The kids know what they can get away with whom.

The elder brother is usually the righteous one. He is born to greater expectations. When he doesn’t meet them, it hurts the mother much more. Sanjay Suri’s Harsh had gone abroad to make a living. He never found time to return home in two years. At one point the mother admits, “Had it been Siddharth (the younger one), I would’ve been disappointed much less.”

This family is now finally together for the elder one’s marriage in Mauritius. The groom merely informed everyone of his decision over the phone, one fine evening. This has the mother sulking even more. She grudgingly decides to participate in the wedding. The reluctance is a bit of a sham.

This is the sort of home I know; or actually live in. The film certainly starts off with a natural connect. To this, one could singularly credit the brilliant actors on screen. Each of them lends an easy emotion, backstory and humour to their roles that I’m willing to believe cannot be entirely written. With such a lovely setup, the movie could have smartly paid off any way. It doesn’t. It merely tells you that these four actors are better than their screenplay.

Siddharth, the younger one, is a serious budding physicist. He seems to have developed a scientific theory called ‘Everything is alive’, which in his case, means he can make a toydog fly. He is at a conference of institutional scientists who could grant him a fellowship to further research his theory. All he takes to the life-defining meeting are not theoretical proofs or mathematical models, but the toydog. He keeps staring at it, hoping it would fly. “Data errors,” he says, and gives up. A girl in the corner gives him a knowing smile. She believes in his theory. The lunacy of that first scene, you don’t realise, would explain the rest of the film.

Harsh, the elder brother, is to marry his girlfriend of five years Aaliya (Chitrangada Singh). She hangs out with his younger brother over five days that he’s there for the wedding. There is not even a hint of chemistry between these two relative strangers. They never make half an interesting conversation. Everything is either inexplicably implied, or merely in the script.
The two brothers on the other hand share a very strong bond and a superstition over swearing on their mother: the words ‘Maa kasam’ from a Dharmendra film, which proves important to the story.

Aaliya, in one scene, appears equally inspired by another Dharmendra movie (Sholay). She looks into the mirror in the girls’ loo and questions, “ Tera kya hoga Aaliya.” She is fatally attracted to Siddharth. She says he doesn’t know what pleasures she can give him. The turning point is an evening she watched him play the saxophone. There is a monologue that runs through her mind where she either speaks of drowning someone in water, or taking off on her mother-inlaw-to-be. She couldn’t care less that her boyfriend is going through a financial crisis (Stock-market crash, everyone keeps yelling throughout). She follows her new hero instead around jungles trying to steal a kiss, while he shows disinterest.

I’m not sure whether this studboy Siddharth should allow this erratic, psycho girl to marry his brother and ruin his life, let alone, save her for himself. It would still be fine was this a goofy-flick, like the Cher-starrer Moonstruck (1987), of the same premise.

It takes itself as a supremely serious, heart-rending romantic comedy. In a nation of exaggerations, it’s one thing to allude to a pretty, dusky actor as Smita Patil over two movies. It’s quite another to give her similar roles to live up to. Unfortunately, her hare-brained character is pretty much the inconsistent movie. The rest you can feel sorry for.

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