There was nothing exceptional about ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ but it was great fun to watch a charming quirky rom-com with two relatable well-acted lead performances from Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat (never mind if it is the only film you might want to remember her for). The same director comes up with ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ with the same producer co-producing it and two of the most talented stars cast in it and you expect some good fun yet again. SKSE does justice to your expectations till the interval and then the curse of the second half strikes.
Like in PKSE, the couple here is Sid and Trisha – Sid (Farhan Akhtar) and Trisha (Vidya Balan). They are happily married. Sid is a happy-go-lucky irresponsible carefree struggling musician married to working woman Trisha. All is well till they spice up their relationship one night and boy! The wife gets pregnant and Sid reluctantly walks into fatherhood. Clearly not ready for the changes, Sid finds himself neglected, lost, frustrated and irritated more so because he feels his wife and he aren’t the same lovely couple anymore. Trisha also decides not to work anymore and it is up to Sid now to look after the family. Taking a cue from his brother-in-law (Ram Kapoor) who is perceived to be the perfect husband and father in the family, Sid starts living a dual life to spend some time with himself without informing his wife. So, he moves into a rented apartment where he leads a bachelor life with a wacky loser (Vir Das) whenever he isn’t trying to be a family man.
My problem with SKSE is that I just could not buy the story. The first half is quite good with some funny moments and enjoyable humour thrown in but what follows after that didn’t leave me convinced. Quite evidently, Director Saket Chaudhary knows about the side effects of love more than that of marriage. In one scene, Sid’s bro-in-law tells him that time spent towards yourself when you should dedicate that time to your wife and child is also adultery. Ridiculous theory! What is even more ridiculous is how the plot is muddled up once Sid is told by the same person that the secret for a successful marriage lies in the little white lies you tell your spouse. Sid gets so easily convinced that he soon moves into a rented apartment to feel bachelorhood once again; he even buys a bike just because his room-mate tells him it’s cooler than his car. Either the plot is silly or the director wanted to portray a mid-life crisis but ended up messing up what could be a fun one-time watch. Another striking loophole – we are told Sid doesn’t earn much and yet he has so much money to squander even after paying the home loan installments and taking charge of daily expenses at home after his wife decides to discontinue working. When you make a movie on relationships, you can’t be so silly. Music by Pritam is poor this time unlike in PKSE.
Farhan Akhtar is probably the best reason you might want to watch SKSE. The multi-talented star plays the part with the perfect comic timing required. He is expressive in emotional scenes and very natural otherwise. Vidya Balan supports Farhan in every way possible and though it is more of the husband’s story (narrated by Sid), she leaves a mark in a few scenes (not to forget her look still remains hideous… why doesn’t she get a good fashion designer?). Ram Kapoor is quite funny in a restrained performance. Vir Das is okay here and doesn’t get scope to display his comic timing. Rati Agnihotri and Purab Kohli are wasted in small roles. Ila Arun plays a highly-paid ‘baai’ who prefers being called Aunty.
Watch it or not: Married people might relate to the situations in the first half. Watch it if you are married but don’t watch it if you are expecting something witty and different.
At the Box-Office: Will do better in multiplexes; business in single screens will be dull. I’m expecting it to recover money and do average business.