This is a good movie! Like, laugh out loud until it hurts good! Sure, there are some plot contrivances at the end and a few comic bits can go too fast and thus the story too complicated for those who haven’t watched enough Indian cinema. But really, this is a good entertaining movie. Drag your whole family and friends to see it kind! A really, really good one to laugh with the crowd kind! Book this for future movie nights when it’s available! I will!
Karamveer Singh or Karam has been playing the woman’s role’s, Sita and Radha, in the religious plays since he was young, having the ability to make his voice feminine and thus convincing to the audience. His father is in debt and so he finds work as a phone-sex operator in the role of “Pooja”, talking to men during the night. He becomes really popular and soon his customers have fallen in love with “Pooja”, which creates a whole lot of trouble for Karam who is about to get married.
Ayushmann Khurrana as Karamveer Singh or Karam or “Pooja” is made for this role. He uses his expressive face and feminine mannerisms to such an extent that they are far from mocking. He makes this feminine man an admirable one stuck in a situation he created and then Karma bites him big time and it all goes wild. His beardless face is both innocent and sweet and once he dons the sari for Ram-Leela and Krishna-Leela in the roles as Sita and Radha he looked really good! Comfortable in it, respecting the lehenga’s and jewellery set upon him. Karam may protest wearing it for so many years, but he is excellent at it, with his change of voice and mannerisms and in the end it is a part of him. This femininity is a part of him, but doesn’t define him, not as a character or make him any less human. Even his room has a space for peacock feathers, jewellery and lehenga choli’s, set like a shrine of beauty that is not to be touched by anyone but him.
It’s beautiful to watch a feminine straight man be treated this way in cinema and not be coded as “gay” and if there is a joke to be had on the subject he will go with it for the simple fun of it. He doesn’t need to prove his manliness to anybody.
The rest of the cast is solid. Too many gold comedy moments to say here who did what, because that would spoil it all. But with all fairness I think Nushrat Bharucha as Mahi got the shortest end of the stick character wise, she could have been changed to any actress and the story itself doesn’t serve her as much. Indeed the whole romance is more of a side-show to be pushed a little away to concentrate back on the misunderstandings and “Pooja”. With all of it her character gets the least amount of screen time for us to get to know her other than the basics or why there is romance to begin with unless to put it for plot purposes.
The music track is also good, but they almost seem to come by unexpectedly or a little abruptly in the story while watching the film. As if the writers were sighing that they needed a soundtrack for it to succeed. ‘Radhe Radhe’ is the only one who comes to being unneeded in the story, the rest are good within the story progressing with it as well as delivering jokes in between. But I suppose it was made to give us a small breathing space before the finale. And all the songs are ear worms! Done by Meet Bro’s they are simple, catchy and will not leave you until you submit to them kind of catchy!
Why do I mention Some Like it Hot in the title? Because it’s a classic film made by Billy Wilder where two men have to dress up as women to hide from the mob. The film was very progressive for its time and still is, with tons of comedy gold thrown in that makes it always relevant. Which is high praise, since comedy is the first thing to grow old in movies. This movie feels the same to me, with progressive humour, but also relevant in its execution and thus smart in how it handles it. Without judgement or comedy relief.
Are there things this movie should have addressed more or explored? Yes! There’s a lot! Do I want another movie to address them at some point? Yes, in the future there will be a space for it to address these things. But not with this movie where there is everything thrown to the wall to stick for a laugh. It is what it is, nobody’s perfect, be it women or a man acting as a woman or this film. But it is very, very entertaining! The theatre where I was was howling and didn’t stop until the end with the dramatics.
Ayushmann’s character dresses up as a woman in the plays and has feminine mannerisms, but he is never bullied for it and no one minds one way or the other and there is no ugly “BE A MAN!” fight or trying to revert him to something society expects. A woman is in love with “Pooja” whom I personally was hoping for a Bisexual realisation from her in the film, but maybe they thought it would be pushing it if said straight on, yet the implication is there. Inter-religious marriage between Hindu and Muslim is discussed throughly in detail, becoming a plot point, but I am not the person to ask for any detailed examination of how it is used, but for me it seemed to be done with warmth not malice.
There must have been more that I miss now, but there was so much comedy and smart lines thrown at you that it’s hard to keep a complete track of it while laughing most of the time. In other words I will gladly rewatch this film.
Thank you for reading!