A week before Valentine’s Day, Vinil Mathew’s Hasee Toh Phasee offers up a typical love saga: a young man, engaged to a longtime girlfriend, falls for another just before his wedding. But despite the familiar and cliched story, there is enough happening to drum up the interest of the audience. With a fair share of quirky humour, drama and sentiment, this breezy entertainer does not disappoint.
Nikhil (Sidharth Malhotra) is a struggling event manager trying to scrape up a large sum of money for a project amidst preparations for his own wedding with Karishma (Adah Sharma). In the mess, Karishma entrusts Nikhil with the job of finding accommodation for her rebellious, drug-addicted sister Meeta (Parineeti Chopra), who returns to Mumbai after years. With all hotels booked out and disappointed with the accommodation given to Meeta, Nikhil brings her home to stay with his family. The two get drawn towards each other with Nikhil trying to help Meeta repair her strained relationship with her family.
As the wedding approaches, Nikhil is left having to choose between his seven-year-old relationship with Karishma against the seven-day-old one with Meeta (no brownie points for guessing who wins).
What really works for the movie is the brand of humour and the performances by almost every member of the cast. Sharat Saxena is brilliant as the father of the groom and is the funniest of the lot. The story moves at a brisk pace as some hilarious events unfold in the lead up to the wedding.
Hasee Toh Phasee does get a little stuck post the laughter in the second half and somewhat dampens the mood a bit with unnecessary sentiment and needless drama. Vishal and Shekhar also disappoint with their soundscore which is far from impressive. Other shortcoming include an incomplete characterisation of Nikhil pertaining to his role in the event management business, often leaving the viewer wondering what he actually does. However, this is more than made up for with some wonderful moments in the narrative.
Sidharth Malhotra in his debut as a solo hero, does a decent job as the romantic young man trying hard to impress his fiancé. His expressions are honest and though he sometimes does go overboard, he manages to hold his own. Considering he is just a film old, he has all the makings to be a successful actor in the future.
Granted that Adah Sharma isn’t the focus, she doesn’t however get an opportunity to shine. Good in parts, Adah is unconvincing as the dominating girlfriend.
The movie though is entirely Parineeti Chopra’s. Stealing the show as the crazy, pill-popping and rebellious genius, Parineeti milks the script for all its worth to showcase her diversity as an actress, enacting her funny, queer and emotional sequences with aplomb. You cannot take your eyes off her, even for a moment.
Manoj Joshi is outstanding as the girl’s father. Some of the scenes featuring him are the highlights of the film. Neena Kulkarni, Sameer Khakhar and Anil Mange are exceptional in their supporting roles. The camera work is splendid, and pretty much everything on screen looks good, owing to Mathew’s ad filmmaking experience, and he certainly does impress in his film debut as well.
Overall, apart from getting slightly sluggish post-interval and some unnecessary sentiment, Hasee Toh Phasee is worth a watch and is one of those typically entertaining rom-coms. Watch it for Parineeti!