Love is a currency that takes a dip during an economic downturn and director Nupur Ashthana merrily drills that popular belief home in her latest romantic comedy Bewakoofiyaan. The operative phrase here is “merrily” since the film never turns depressingly bleak, always maintaining its buoyant tone.
Take this: the hero Mohit Chadda (Ayushmann Khurrana), an airline marketing executive who was recently promoted at work, is suddenly fired due to the economic downturn and his hunt for another job is not going well. After a particularly soul-destroying interview with a hostile potential employer, he’s ready to scream when his high-maintenance banker girlfriend Mayera Sehgal (Sonam Kapoor) calls him wondering if she should book tickets for a film that evening.
We want to scream “priorities woman”, but fortunately Chadda does that for us. That’s the strength of Bewakoofiyaan. The fights among this seemingly happy, well-adjusted couple are real. But the sad part is that their conflicts surrounding rows about money are toned down. Instead, what’s highlighted is the disapproving dad scenario. It’s easy to see why. Rishi Kapoor, who plays the domineering father to Mayera, excels in the role of a patriarch who is intent on tearing the couple apart. He’s a cantankerous civil servant and is old-school in his thoughts. Like any doting Indian dad, he wants to arrange a rich prince for his pampered daughter. However, Mayera shoots him down by espousing noble declarations like love is more important than money. So what does her dad do? He puts his future son-in-law on probation and gives him tasks, which include competitive squash matches and threatening to run financial checks on the boy.
It’s all a bit lame but it’s endearing to watch Khurrana and his prospective father-in-law warm to each other. They have good chemistry. I wish I could say the same thing about the young couple. While Kapoor and Khurrana played their parts to perfection, it was difficult to buy into their love story. Mayera’s decision to take up a job in Dubai (the city is showcased in all its glory fleetingly in the second half), just after one slightly ugly fight, seemed sudden and out-of-character for a woman who was a self-titled romantic. Plus, her obsession with taking holidays and rock concerts while he’s penniless didn’t somehow add up.
What’s also unbelievable is the sudden turnaround by the terror-inducing dad. The villain becomes an ally of love. But as long as you don’t analyse it too much, Bewakoofiyaan (which means Stupidities) can make for a fun watch.