While Chetan Bhagat is no literary genius he is a great storyteller and definitely has a great sense of humour. He is also lucky his family hasn't disowned him or objected to being bandied about in his book. I remember Gerald Durrell saying in his subsequent book after "My Family and Other Animals", his sister Margo was often asked " So now, which animal are you?" So I feel any author who actually writes about his family albeit with lots of affection and absolutely no malice runs the risk of getting brickbats from his own family if no one else for writing about them so publicly.
But it is the honest simplicity of his story that I suppose makes him one of India's most read contemporary authors today. It is also the ordinariness of his life that makes his stories worthy of becoming movies. After the success of 3 Idiots and Kai Poche, it was only to be expected that one day the story of his own marriage would become a Bollywood script.
So we have Arjun Kapoor looking decidedly ordinary acting as Krish Malhotra, the stereotypical IIT IIM student who falls in love with Ananya Swaminathan played by Alia Bhatt. As is to be expected, the two have an inauspicious start when our hero comes to the rescue of the heroine who is unable to stomach the slosh served as sambhar in the IIM hostel. Making it quite clear to Krish that she has no intention of falling for an IIT dude, the two embark on a simple friendship which deepens into love. Coming from typical Punjabi and TamBram families, the two encounter stiff resistance from both their families, the seeds of hate being sown at their very first meeting at the convocation. Such situations normally call for a runaway marriage, but our hero and heroine being honourable and respectful of their parents, refuse to take the easy way out but work towards getting their parents' approval. So Krish relocates to Chennai to get to know his future in laws better and to ingratiate himself with the family that strongly resists him. But Ananya gets Krish to tutor her brother for the IIT entrance exam thus ensuring that he comes to their house every day. He also manages to get Ananya's mother to perform "professionally" at his Bank's function. Krish finally gets a chance to break through his father-in-law's reserve by offering him help with a PowerPoint Presentation. With the barriers finally broken down, Krish proposes to all four of them, accepting the fact that he not only had to marry Ananya but also her family!
With one half of the battle won, it remained for his family to accept the "Madrasin" as she is referred to and Krish decides to take her home for his cousin's wedding. Ananya's visit to his home doesn't go down too well especially with his mother who feels that her son has been ensnared, but eventually her spirited confrontation with the the groom makes her a hero in Krish's family's eyes.
But both the families still had to meet! So the couple decides to get both families down to Bombay for a combined holiday. This proves to be a disastrous idea because instead of getting things sorted out, it actually makes things worse forcing the young couple calls off their relationship.
Eventually Krish's father with whom he has a rocky relationship comes to the rescue and plays cupid and the couple manage to get married in a beautiful ceremony by the seaside.
Despite the brilliant acting by both Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, excellent support by the parents, great dialogue and an un-exaggerated account of the differences between the North and the South, the movie gets too long and tends to drag particularly with the song and dance sequences that could easily have been left out.
I also couldn't figure out where the Psychiatrist comes into the picture especially since Krish, who wants to commit suicide, eventually leaves the clinic with his twins, obviously pleased with the way things turned out.
I was surprised to see this movie running to a packed house for a 9.30 Sunday morning show at Inox, particularly the large number of men in the audience, because even though this film tells a man's love story, it has a strong chick flick quotient. However, this is a movie worth seeing - well cast, well acted and tastefully done.