I was fascinated by the name of the movie “Qarib Qarib Singlle” and also by the unusual pairing of the lead actors Irfan Khan and Parvathy who was making her debut in the Bollywood. So even with the ocean of work going on, I decided to sneak out and watch the film.
The film is about two individuals Jaya and Yogi, in their 30’s who met each other through a dating site “Ab tak single” and what follows next is a series of fun filled surreal experience where two exactly opposite people get to know each other and fall in love in the most unusual way! Jaya (played by Parvathy) is a successful workaholic woman who rules her workplace, but lacks confidence when it comes to her personal life. She is mostly spending time in her home or dedicating her Sundays to baby-sitting, and tries to please everybody around her. She hasn’t fully recovered from the trauma of losing her husband at a considerably young age. While Yogi, is jovial, outspoken, exudes confidence, wears bright red and yellow clothes, and believes in living in the moment.
“Naam Hai Hamara Yogendra Kumar Devendra Nath Prajapati Urf YOGI”
With this dialogue Irrfan proves why he’s someone who can act even when he’s not doing anything. He plays the role of a poet who makes you read some of the most heart-pleasing lines of his life. They first meet for a coffee date, which Jaya truly regrets, but slowly his quirkiness makes her unsettled and she starts taking decisions uncanny of her usual ways. When Yogi invites her to accompany him on a tour to meet his old girlfriends (remember he is a poet with numerous flings in the past) she disdainfully rejects at first but later on agrees to it.
“Total Teen Bar Ishq Kiya… Or Teeno Bar Aisa Ishq Matlab Jaanlewa Ishq, Matlab Ghanghor Had Paar”
On their first destination to Hrishikesh, Yogi misses his flight leaving Jaya confused and regretful however the way they interact during their stay in ashram in a room with the common door, or meeting his first girlfriend who is now married and calls him ‘bhaiya’ is beautifully enacted.
The second destination to Jaipur, where they travel via vintage Fairy Queen train has some very quirky moments, like Yogi getting down to fetch pakodas and accidently entering into another train going in the opposite direction, while she really gets pissed off, Yogi play cards with his co-passengers! Interestingly by now she has got used to his actions, so she enjoys her stay while he hires car till the destination. Another beautiful scene is where Jaya gets high because of the sleeping medicine and her real uninhibited self comes out leaving Yogi highly surprised.
Their last destination to Sikkim is intriguingly beautiful because both of them start feeling emotions for each other however are reluctant to speak of it On the climax, they finally nail it with the famous and clichéd Bollywood dialogue in a defiant way “sath jeene marne ki kasamein toh nahi thee”. What I loved most was the beautifully executed climax scene where both of them get to meet/see their ex-lovers and have this longing for each other, and then Yogi for the first time in the film catches the same transport and confesses his love in very uncanny way.
Interestingly the film seems very gender balanced at particular instances where Jaya insists on paying the bills, sharing the expenses, asserting her decisions and Yogi respecting her feminist attitude! Though it’s projected that he had past relationships at the same time he gives her own space and time, also respecting her way to drift apart. There are no forced notions of breaking certain stereotypes or forced efforts to project that film is gender balance however it flows which makes it more realistic and connecting!
On and all it’s a beautiful slice-of-life film about solitude and companionship; it keeps audience hooked with its irresistible charm accompanied by soulful music and commendable acting :-)