Behen Hogi Teri
This rustic title, a slang, is a sure-shot magnet that would attract viewers to the theatres. The theme of the film is a common occurrence in small towns and is thus relatable. With no much mush, Director Ajay Pannalal in his maiden directorial venture delivers an understated romantic comedy with aplomb. It is a typical keep-under-wraps, infatuation turned romance film.
Gattu is a weak student who has failed in his UPSC exams and is always reprimanded by his father for being a good-for-nothing fellow. On the other hand is Binny the "Fire Brand pataka" of the locality. Both childhood friends, they live opposite each other in one of the bylanes of Lucknow. They grow up like "brother and sister" till Gattu realises that his feelings for Binny are much more than mere "sisterly" love.
What is the malady? Loverboy Gattu has a chicken heart, though he proposes and convinces Binny that he is the guy for her, he does not have the courage to broach the topic with their respective families. Also, flamed by his parents, he fans a rumour that Binny is having a fling with his best friend Burra and this, in turn, blows things out of proportion.
The story and dialogues by Vinit Vyas are refreshing and sincere. He brings to life every character with right degrees of dramatic shades and tension except for Binny's. While Binny's character is holistically written, the "Fire Brand Element", which is displayed only in a scene or two, is only a spark. Humour is strewn in the form of sarcastic one-liners at odd moments, that make you chuckle.
Shy, restrained and with a nervous demeanour, Rajkummar Rao is effortlessly natural. He gets into the skin of Gattu with ease. Except for the drunken scene, which seems forced, he is brilliant all through.Shruti Haasan has come a long way since her first film. She holds her stead opposite Rajkummar Rao.
With the inclusion of Gulshan Grover as Tappi dada and Ranjit as Burra's uncle who is addressed as Tauji, the Director has added hot blood into the plot. The yesteryear villains bring charm to their characters with their strong personas.
The rest of the supporting cast is equally admirable. Of the characters who shine is the lady who plays Gattu's mother. She is simply marvellous. Matching her in histrionics is Herry Tangiri as Gattu's loyal friend Burra.Darshan Jariwala as Gattu's dad, Ninad Kamat as Jaidev -- Binny's older brother, Alekh Sangal as Mahesh, the guy curses the protagonists, leave their mark on screen with flourish.
Gautam Gulati has a miniscule role as Binny's fiance Rahul and Kamlesh Gill as Binny's grandmother is stereotyped and wasted. The film is astutely mounted. The production designs by Farid Malik along with Shivank Kapoor's costume designs, make the film look unpretentiously modest and realistic. Overall, with the background score and the songs smoothly blending into the narrative, the film seems like a seamless canvas.
(With IANS Inputs)