“Qarib Qarib Singlle” is an Indian film released on 10th November 2017. It stars Irrfan Khan & Malayalam cinema actor Parvathy in lead. Directed by well-known director Tanuja Chandra, this is a Zee Studios production.
As the title suggests, it is the story of 2 individuals, Yogi (played by Irrfan) and Jaya (played by Parvathy) who are single and are almost ready to be hooked up or not, as their past still clings on to them.
Jaya is a widow of an Army officer works as an insurance officer, while Yogi who is single by choice is an independent food consultant and a poet (shayar to be specifically colloquial). While Jaya is a contemporary young woman trying to move on with her life after her husband’s untimely demise, the real charm of the story is the bubbly character of Yogi who refuses to believe in the power of internet (except for dating apps) and is still pretty old school as he reminisces the days when letters were exchanged.
Jaya and Yogi hook up on a dating site called “Ab Tak Single”, reflecting the sarcastic sense of things, whoever came up with that name. On a principled debate on “Moving on in life”, Yogi offers Jaya to accompany him as he sets out meet his three ex-girlfriends. Jaya hesitates initially but agrees later. The journey would decide the fate of the relationship between Yogi and Jaya.
The theme of the film is not new at all. A man and a woman, both hailing from diverse backgrounds, embark on a journey together to discover their own selves, to know about things they have hidden from themselves about themselves. The story is also very short and simple without much complications.
However, few good things take your attention like the meticulous screenplay, the small technical details about Jaya unwilling to share her bottle with anyone, or Yogi trying to be very harsh on men when he is on a date with a seemingly different woman. But the film is slow and lacks in tinge at multiple places.
Many scenes could have been more entertaining than otherwise portrayed. The idea of them being on a journey together and yet travelling alone and differently seemed superimposed. As our society is moving forward, relationships tend to become more fragile and more software oriented, like who we are compatible with.
The film shows the rest of the part, what happens when there are unfinished conversations between partners and they break up and what happens when your past catches up with you. But, as you see the movie, you realize the confusion caught up with the director – whether to tread on the moral compass of steering clear of your past or to showcase how two seemingly odd people could cultivate chemistry for each other.
As mentioned above, the screenplay is meticulous which is evident by the scene which sparks the chemistry for the first time between Jaya and Yogi when she is in his room to remove the phone receiver on which Yogi has fallen asleep while he was talking to Jaya over hotel intercom. The flow looks very natural there. However, after first half, the film loses its element and it looks more like completing the journey.
The chance mention of the word “Feminism” when Jaya says that she takes care of her own expenses was matched with discrepancy in the film later where almost all the expenses are footed by Yogi (who is super rich, for some convenient reason), including the bill for Jaya’s sleeping pills, as she is an insomniac addicted to sleeping pills.
As the director is a woman, the woman-woman rivalry has been shown aptly, wherein most of her girlfriends use this “single widowed” woman, Jaya, as a stepney for either babysitting their children or taking care of their pets or use her as an in-house stylist. The finesse with which it is shown, is possible only for a woman director. The male directors have a long way to go that way.
All in all, this is a light movie, slightly low on the entertainment, partly saved by brilliant performances by Irrfan (undoubtedly) and Parvathy. A film which does not present any new theme, but touches upon our contemporary lives. Watch this movie, if a slow light, quasi-romantic movie suits you. There aren’t much surprises to offer here. I give it 2.5 stars, the extra half star is only for the screenplay.
This review has been contributed by our Guest reviewer