`Sorry Bhai` - a breezy love triangle (IANS Film Review )
Shot in Mauritius, the film shows Sanjay
Suri and Sharman Joshi vying for Chitrangada Singh`s attention with a laid back
stay-calm stay-cool kind of urbane chic that often masquerades as a mirror of
contemporary mores in today`s cinema.
Happily, Sorry Bhai has plenty of genuine moments of emotional
`ouch`-burst. This isn`t a film about confrontational relationships. The
characters prefer to keep it nice and peaceful on the surface, no matter what
the turmoil inside, just like the blue oceans and white sands of Mauritius.
Love may or may not mean having to say you`re sorry. But Sharman, who plays the
kid-brother who whisks away his brother`s bride-to-be in a tumultuous romance,
says `sorry` so many times you wonder whom he`s trying to convince, the brother
or his conscience.
Or could it be us, watching this pleasant, mild but finally intensity-free
romantic comedy set in the mollifying splendour of Mauritius, whom Sharman`s
sorry state of `affair` is trying to convince?
In one vital sequence, Sharman makes lingering love to his sister-in-law-to-be
in the trial room while trying out a wedding suit. Waiting outside Sanjay
chuckles, I`m sure she`s making him try out something he has never tried
Wicked spurts of humour seem oddly intrusive in this drama of the under-driven.
The narration`s mood swings from delicious satire to barbed rhetorics -
mother-in-law-to-be Shabana Azmi`s ar-son-ic exchanges with her future
daughter-in-law could set the azure Mauritius waters on fire, if only they
weren`t so funny.
Sorry Bhai is a film that requires a number of mood change. In its
two hours of mellow playing time, it packs in a whole criss-crossing
kaleidoscope of family ties and accompanying emotions ranging from intense
motherly possessiveness to authentic `bhaigiri`.
Not all the mood and time transitions are achieved with fluency. Some moments
between pairs of characters just don`t go far enough to reach into the inner
recesses of the heart. Indeed the best moment in the film is the one where the
sobbing sibling rests his head on his brother`s lap to express sorrow for
stealing away his fiancée.
But then there`s a difference between taking your brother`s favourite pen to
scribble your limericks and stealing his bride.
Sorry, Bhai swims languorously in a terrain that covers the
thumb-sucking selfishness of childhood as well as the sexual friction within a
family where a beautiful woman appears as a bone of contention.
And what a woman! Chitrangada looking toned and chiselled, playing the spunky
woman who wants to break free from a stagnant long-lasting relationship to court
life on the fast lane brings in the right flavours of chocolate-and-chutzpah
into the tranquil goings-on.
When Onir keeps the family drama sweet and simple, when he focuses on
one-on-ones within the family circle, he is in his element. But Onir`s film is
as original as it can get.
We won`t have another film for a long time where the mom tells her younger son
to live in with her elder son`s fiancee.
Shabana in the mother`s role is a bit of a disappointment. Boman as her husband
is far more relaxed.
As for the central performances, Chitrangada makes a likeable comeback except
when she`s too busy putting her best profile forward to the camera. And it`s
hard for us to believe that Sharman is supposed to play a guy with such
irresistible charm that he can sweep the far-from-blushing-bride off her feet
and seize her from his brother.
The crew cruises the calm characters and their location with underplayed
Siddharth Mathur , a shy young scientist, travels to Mauritius for his elder
brother Harsh`s wedding. Accompanying him is his Ma, a reluctant traveller
since she is angry at Harsh for deciding to get married without consulting them.
Also travelling is Siddharth`s cheery father , whose sole entertainment is
pulling Ma`s leg.
Harsh, pre-occupied with work, can spend little time with his family and it
is left to his fiancée Aaliyah to show them around Mauritius before the
However, Ma`s anger at Harsh ensures that she takes an instant dislike for
Aaliyah, and it is Aaliyah and Siddharth who end up spending loads of time
together. This, added to the fact that Aaliyah feels neglected by the
career-obsessed Harsh, leads to them being irresistibly drawn to each other.
A horrified Siddharth battles this attraction desperately, but Aaliyah has
fallen madly in love and pursues him with single-minded determination.
When Siddharth’s defences start crumbling and Ma starts getting suspicious,
all hell breaks loose in the Mathur family