Film: “Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana”; Director: Vivaan Shah; Cast: Akshara Hassan, Gurmeet Chowdhury, Darshan Jariwala, Sanjay Mishra, Saurabh Shukla, Suhasini Mulay, Navni Parihar and Ravi Kishen, Rating: **
In keeping with its title, “Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana” opens with an ostentatious wedding of Laali (Akshara Hassan) and Laddoo (Vivaan Shah). With the back story of Laddoo unfurling as he admits the truth about his life to his friend, Veer (Gurmeet Choudhury), at the wedding, forms the crux of this two-hour plus film.
Supposedly a family entertainer, the film is essentially about an ambitious boy Laddoo (Vivaan Shah), who hails from a middle-class family and is the apple of his parents’ (Darshan Jariwala and Navni Parihar) eyes.
His dreams and aspirations are big and he is in a hurry to better his life and become rich and famous. He moves to Vadodara for better prospects where he meets Laali (Akshara Hassan) — a simple, principled working girl and they fall in love. An untoward twist causes a strain in their relationship and they part ways with Laali’s marriage being fixed with Veer (Gurmeet Chowdhury), a royal prince.
The film belongs to Vivaan Shah, who gets into the skin of his author-backed character and essays it with aplomb. He is every inch the ruthless and mercenary boy, who has no qualms of riding roughshod over people’s feelings. The transition and graph of his character is extremely well-handled and portrayed. There are some scenes, however, when his efforts seem forced too.
Akshara Haasan as Laali looks pretty and is comfortable in her character, but offers nothing extraordinary. Darshan Jariwala as Laddoo’s middle-class, but loving father renders a flawless performance. He is ably supported by Sanjay Mishra and Saurabh Shukla, who deliver sincerely, while Ravi Kishen in a cameo is wasted.
Gurmeet Choudhury has a pleasant screen presence and is convincing as the suave, but gentle and obedient, Veer. Suhasini Mulay as the quintessential Rani Ma is cliched.
Written and directed by Manish Harishankar, the screenplay is loose and meanders aimlessly, making the film drag and become tedious in the second half. The narrative purportedly follows a passive style with each character sharing his point of view but being amateurishly handled, it appears boring and convoluted.
What could have been a crisp and entertaining film, degenerates into an unending saga of love, sacrifice and remorse and fails to interest viewers, after a point. It is only Vivaan Shah’s energetic and earnest attempt that keeps the film afloat.
The dialogues are peppered with humour in the form of cynicism and sarcasm, but fail to leave an impact as the narrative is too unwieldy and these get lost.
The music is a highlight as the songs picturised on Laddoo, exude energy and gusto epitomising his character, and “Rog jaane” by Palak Muchhal is soulfully rendered.
The production values of the film are good and the cinematography is worth a mention too.
Overall, “Laali ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana” is a wedding you will want to attend and leave half way, as it fails to excite you after a point.