October 14, 2011
Saqib Saleem, Saba Azad, Nishant Dahiya, Tara D’souza, Mita Vashisht
Yaar, “uske naam mein bhi maal hai,” says Vishal while trying to coax Rahul to meet hottie Malvika. Why doesn’t Vishal meet her himself? Ah well, as relationship statuses often are on Facebook, “It’s complicated”.
Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge – the second venture from Yashraj Films’ new banner Y Films – is a love story set against the backdrop of FB. The place: a Mumbai college. The time: here and now. Vishal is the campus wise guy, good-looking, smart talking, sociable and smooth. Preity is the girl he loves to hate because she’s smart, confident, hard-working, aloof, attractive but uncaring about her style. When Vishal is not in class or Facebooking-ing, he hangs out with friends, parties and writes lyrics for the soppy songs that Rahul sings as the lead artiste of a popular local band. Fashion design student Malvika is Preity’s best friend, and happens to catch Vishal’s fancy at a show when Rahul picks her out of the crowd to dance with him on stage. Desperate to get Malvika’s attention, Vishal pretends to be Rahul and sends her a friend request on FB. Without Malvika’s knowledge, Preity – who has a crush on Rahul – accepts the friend request, and the two start chatting regularly online. Get it? Cute guy Vishal pretending to be hot guy Rahul is chatting with smart girl Preity because she is pretending to be hot girl Malvika!
Phew! It truly is complicated!
Or rather, it’s complicated for them but not confusing for us. Quite to the contrary, director Nupur Asthana – helmswoman of Yashraj’s popular TV series Mahi Way – gives us a breezy 1 hour 44 minute ride through teenland bereft of clichés, aided by Raghu Dixit’s peppy and youthful music, and dialogue writer Anvita Dutt who seems to really understand this milieu. Unlike director Roshan Abbas’ Always Kabhi Kabhi (produced by SRK and released this June), this film is not trying to be cool – it actually is cool. And unlike Y Films’ own Luv ka The End, Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge goes beyond just getting the look and lingo right.
On the face of it, this is a re-telling of Yashraj’s earlier film Mujhse Dosti Karoge (MDK) from which this one derives its slightly misleading title. MDK was a Hrithik Roshan-Rani Mukerji-Kareena Kapoor-starrer about a guy who falls in love with Girl X with whom he’s been exchanging e-mails for years, not knowing that she’s in fact Girl Y pretending to be X. But the protagonists in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge are younger, the pace here is snappier, and the melodrama that at one time was automatically associated with love triangles and quadrilaterals in Hindi films is missing here – when the corny, cheesy ending comes around, it’s actually believable because the film and each of its characters treats it exactly the way you and I would treat such a corny, cheesy turn of events. Thankfully too, this is not a clichéd modern-day Cinderella story where the non-glamorous nerdy stereotype of a girl transforms overnight into a Princess and is saved by the Prince from her harried existence. This film does not toe the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai line that the guy you love will not realise he feels the same way about you till you exchange your ‘tomboyish’ (oh how I hate that word!) attire for acceptably feminine clothes and lose to him in a game of basketball! Not on your life! Preity in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge can give as good as she gets, and does so right till the end.
Any weak links? Well yes. The dialogue writing that’s pitch perfect during exchanges between Preity, Vishal and their college mates, turns a tad awkward when the slightly older Rahul and Malvika come around. Also, youngsters Saqib Saleem (Vishal) and Saba Azad (Preity) are live wires; Tara D’souza (Malvika) and Nishant Dahiya (Rahul) are interesting too; but Dahiya – a handsome fellow no doubt – slips up by failing to tailor his English diction to fit the slot that he’s placed in here … I’m not saying he should have sounded British or American, but that he should have sounded more like the English-speaking Indian city dude that he’s supposed to be. Also, the music gets so loud at places that the lyrics become indecipherable.
At a superficial level, Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge may seem like a silly film about squabbling teenagers in love. But look closer and what you see is the director and writers’ keen understanding of a world where rumours and cruel jokes spread like wildfire on SMS and social networking online media; where youngsters often mistake notoriety for popularity; where it’s so easy to be deceived by the person on the other end of the line; and where this apparent constant flow of communication in the virtual world has the potential to kill communication in the real world.
It’s possible that you may not enjoy this film if you aren’t addicted to the online social media or if you aren’t constantly rubbing shoulders with crazy, Facebook-addicted teenagers the way I am. On the other end of the social spectrum, it’s possible that the teenagers in the hall where I watched this film would give it double the number of stars that I’ve given it, judging by their hysterical laughter throughout. As they’d probably say, go figure. For my part, I’ve gotta rush off to write another review! BRB! ;)
Rating (out of five): ***
CBFC Rating: U/A without cuts
Running time: 104 Minutes
Photograph courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/YFilms#!/MujhseFraaandshipKaroge