Their mothers loathe each other and their grown-up children are caught in the crossfire of mutual distrust. But the real casualty? The hapless viewers who have to sit through this insipid romantic comedy featuring star-crossed lovers Puneet and Saanjh (played by Sunny Singh and Sonnalli Seygall, respectively).
Forget sparks flying between the two, they don’t have enough chemistry or magnetism to crank up the heat in any room. Their characters aren’t particularly likeable either. There’s Saanjh, a cocky and lithe engineering student, who is incredibly vain and vapid. She constantly claims that she’s the best and harbours a bloated sense of grandiosity. Her overconfidence is supposed to be cute and adorable, but all it does is grate on our already-stretched patience.
Then there’s her boyfriend ‘Punnu’ who needs to grow a spine before learning to take a stand in life or love. His indecisive demeanour and their collective inability to take agency of their own love lives is more frustrating than fulfilling.
Their warring, loud mothers, Pinky and Laali, played by seasoned actors Poonam Dhillon and Supriya Pathak respectively, don’t come off with flying colours either. They are reduced to obnoxious caricatures of two crass and cranky Punjabi women. Their splashy clothes have more depth and layers than their screechy characters.
We are told they were college mates who had a nasty fall out, but their characters aren’t given much love or attention. The whole movie is told from the perspective of two young lovers who just don’t have it in them to take charge of their own destinies.
Singh’s character Punnu is constantly helpless, while his confident girlfriend doesn’t have the heft to pull things along. The men in this film are collectively docile, while women are painted with broad strokes in several shades of garish and obnoxious. Also having to watch actor Alok Nath, accused of sexual misconduct, leaves a bitter aftertaste.
While director Navjot Gulati gets the middle-class milieu of those living in the Delhi metropolis right, its charm wears off quickly. The part in which the city resident look down upon Ghaziabad — it suburban cousin — hits the sweet spots and is a portrait to the inbred snobbery in that belt. We would have loved to see more of Pathak and Dillon as rebels with a worthy cause. But they are reduced to bickering hags and dim-witted harridans. Even their conflict and long-enduring rivalry has no real punch. The young lovers don’t make this inglorious romantic comedy shine either with their tinny characters. However, they look fabulous in the hit club anthems like ‘Lamborghini’ that have been recycled and given a glamorous reboot.
But a couple of songs cannot make or break a romantic comedy. Somehow, you aren’t invested in their train wreck of this relationship about a pair of confused lovers living under the thumb of strong-willed mothers. While a fistful of jokes in the initial portions of the film land, there isn’t enough meat or heft to keep us hooked.
Film: ‘Jai Mummy Di’
Cast: Supriya Pathak, Poonam Dhillon, Sonnalli Seygall, Sunny Singh
Director: Navjot Gulalti
Stars: 1.5 out of 5