Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Banner: Yash Raj Films
Music Director: R Anandh
Cinematography: N Natarajan Subramaniam
He’s a rowdy but he has a good heart. He’s also known as ‘one-punch Nandu’ – one punch is all it takes for him to win in the boxing ring, hands-down. So what if the odds seem impossible, he’s the hero after all! Now she’s a girl who takes care of her home. She’s Pinky Palkar, a simple girl. She has a dream but talks like a tapori and looks like one too. Makes you wonder if there’s a role reversal here!
The movie kicks off in the boxing ring, where Nandu is all beat up by his opponent. Suddenly, he asks to be blindfolded. Next… Well, the ‘one-shot Nandu’ tagline says it all. If only winning a boxing match were that easy! Wouldn’t we have won more medals at the Olympics? And mind you, this is not the only talent our hero Nandu has. He also learns to skate and he does it with élan! Masters the sport in a very short time.
The film lacks originality, and instead of watching the movie, you keep wondering, “Where have I seen this scene before?” Even the dialogue (by Gopi Puthran) are monotonous and repetitive instead of adding some punch.
The leading man’s character is nothing but an amalgamation of Aamir Khan’s role in Vikram Bhatt’s Ghulam and Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela. The story reminds you of Rajesh Khanna’s Dushman, and the competition track reminds you of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. There are also definite shades of Nagarjuna-Simran starrer, the Telugu film, Nuvvu Vastavani (this film was a remake of the 1999 blockbuster, the Tamil film Thulladha Manamum Thullum) which released in 2000. So much inspiration for just one story!
The film is about a slum (read ‘developed’ slum) and the people who live in it. One of the residents, Pinky Palkar, aspires to take part in a reality show to flaunt her talent as a skater. On the other hand, Nandu has no dreams. He’s a fighter and works for the local goon. By a stroke of fate, Nandu accidentally becomes the reason why Pinky becomes blind. So our goon-cum-Robinhood-cum dayalu decides to help her realise her dream. What follows next needs zero IQ.
The film does have some nice moments, though, especially in the beginning of the second half, where the lead pair discovers their feelings for each other. Also the way the songs are woven (in the second half) into the screenplay when the one-punch Nandu and Pinky preparing for a contest, is soothing. Though the songs are not catchy, they’re still enjoyable. N Natarajan Subramaniam’s camerawork is another high point.
Pradeep Sarkar made his debut with Parineeta, which was based on a novel that inspired another film with Ashok Kumar in the lead (aha, those black-n-white era films) ages ago. His second film, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, was another rehash of a bunch of old movies, and he’s done it again!
There’s no denying he’s a talented director and knows his job. But why this modus operandi while selecting a storyline? Sometimes you can compensate for a weak storyline with excellent screenplay and dialogues. But in this film, none of these are redeeming features.
Performance-wise, Neil Nitin Mukesh has a long way to go before he can carry a film on his shoulders. Though he tries his best to play the part, he’s a complete miscast. Deepika Padukone shows definite growth as an actor. She’s the soul of the film and the reason audiences may watch it. One wonders why Kay Kay Menon accepted the part. Piyush Mishra too has nothing to do.
In a nutshell, Lafangey Parindey has neither the content nor ‘moments’ to lure the audience. With nil expectations and a poor opening, it’s another dud from the Yash Raj stable.