Qarib Qarib Singlle

  • 18 Nov - 24 Nov, 2017
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

Irrfan Khan is not just a Bollywood star but someone who has been praised internationally. In Qarib Qarib Singlle he shows why he is a class act and how a leading man nearing 50 can own a film without actually producing it (pun intended). The film can be classified as a road-movie or a coming-of-age-movie or a different love story with pros and cons of the real world. Irrfan plays an eccentric middle-aged man in this modern love story where he travels around the country to prove that love is eternal; his companion is a working-class modern-day Indian woman (Parvathy) who challenges him that his affairs ended because they were all one-sided.

Tanuja Chandra's flick breaks taboos in its own ways; it takes place in the ideal world where it is ok for a woman to travel around India with a relatively unknown man but it’s the experience that changes things between them. Jaya (Parvathy) is a widow who lost her husband to the Army while Yogi (Irrfan Khan) is an irritating man who earns his livelihood by selling his ideas to food companies. They have absolutely nothing in common except for the fact that they are ready to mingle and Jaya takes the giant leap when she agrees to go on a trip with Yogi that changes their lives.

This film takes you through hilarious sequences, unexpected experiences and in unknown surroundings where two adults learn to live with each other. Irrfan Khan’s character is what carries the film forward because he is always non-serious, always delivering his own poetry, always talking about his exes and always telling his companion how to do things the right way. In her Hindi film debut, Malayam actress Parvathy excels as a woman in her mid-30s with nothing to look forward to except a trip to meet Yogi’s exes. She breaks the fourth wall throughout the film except once when she realised that she has changed.

The film’s pace is as fast as Chennai Express (the real one, not the film) with no time for supporting characters or cameo appearances except one. Things happen on the reel just as they would in real life and that’s something people might like about the film as there are hardly any songs, any fight sequences or bad guys waiting to kidnap the lead pair. It is the kind of film one would have expected from Imtiaz Ali before he came up with the awkwardly titled and unbelievably stupid Jab Harry Met Sejal earlier this year.

Overall, the film is all about ‘couples that date together, stay together’ philosophy, if there is any such thing that is. A hero is a middle-aged man, the heroine is a South Indian beauty and their chemistry is unmatchable. After Saba Qamar in Hindi Medium, this is the second heroine who has competed with Irrfan all the way and has carved a separate identity for herself. Technically, it might not be the soundest Bollywood film of the year but spiritually and mentally, it is the kind of film we all had been waiting for. •


Technically, it might not be the soundest Bollywood film of the year but spiritually and mentally, it is the kind of film we all had been waiting for.