Plan A Plan B
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi Film Plan A Plan B streaming on Netflix. Rom-Coms are an absolute rarity these days. There was a point where Bollywood used to churn out some of the best Rom-Coms which formulated a major part of my childhood and young adulthood. Films lile Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na did coincide with my college days and I still do have a distinct memory of the movie watching experience which was lovely. The ability to transport you and immerse you into a fantasy world was quite incredible then. But slowly but surely, these films started declining in the wake of some thrillers and mysteries which started doing the rounds.
The current day word is that there is an overdose of thrillers and so everytime when a Rom-Com comes along, I am instantly sold. Likewise, I was keenly awaiting the release of Plan A Plan B which did seem like an urban light and frothy Rom-Com from its trailer. Now that I have finally finished watching Plan A Plan B, here are my two cents on it!
Story & Screenplay
Plan A Plan B follows the story of a divorce lawyer and a matchmaker, complete opposites who happen to share a workspace together. Will love find a way to blossom? The story is a classic setup of “Opposites Attract” and how love often blossoms in a rather familiar template. And if you are able to connect with the characters then you often start rooting for them to land up together as well. Sadly the screenplay standing at just about a 100 minutes is uneventful and a drab! If a screenplay this short seems like a slog than you are in for some trouble!
The first thing that I did notice about the film was its vibrant setup. With some bond shades on display and a rather hip setup, I was rather impressed by the look of the film. But as is the case with quite a few Netflix Rom-Coms, a lot of attention is paid on the aesthetics, and very little on the writing. The writing here is lame and never really takes off. A good premise is wasted in a rather lousy screenplay!
The proceedings are uneventful and quite repetitive. It just doesn’t exude any sort of confidence whatsoever. The jokes are even lamer and it made me facepalm atleast once every 10 minutes. I do not like to overcriticize but some films are just ridiculous. And this is one of them. I wonder how the authorities at Netflix happened to greenlit this ridiculous project which is so drab even from a writing point of view. The writing is substandard and insipid. In films lile these the city plays an important role with a unique vibe that gives the story a new dimension too. But Mumbai and its vibe remained unexplored here.
There are a few moments that do connect but such moments are few and far between. In fact they may not even connect well considering that the events leading upto them are really insipid and half-hearted. The events seem random where the focus is glitz and glam rather than substance. The events leading up to the final act are silly wherein a conflict introduced leads to an instant resolution. Why not introduce the conflict earlier and allow even the characters to settle into the drama leading up to a meaningful final act? A late conflict adds nothing to the drama and instant adds to the frivolous quotient. And the final act is underwhelming by virtie of which you start to go through the motions, keenly awaiting the film to end. Such a disappointing screenplay if ever there was one.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are just about alright. The music is good but not memorable but atleast it does go with the flow of the drama. The BGM is decent as well. The cinematography and editing along with the art design are the unsung heroes of this sinking ship. They do manage to give the film a fresh and vibrant look. The direction by Shashanka Ghosh is plain vanilla. He is unable to engage the audience at any point of time and so the audience is never invested in the drama and neither do they root for the characters. So Plan A and Plan B both fail here!
The performances are pretty good here but they aren’t able to save this sinking ship whose story spreads thin from the beginning. Bidita Bag and Kusha Kapila are good but both their characters were underwritten. Poonam Dhillon is a delight to watch. Tamannaah Bhatia follows up with her Babli Bouncer act in a rather confident manner. She looks pretty and definitely makes her presence felt. Riteish Deshmukh too has done a pretty good job although I did feel that he was miscast. But if some jokes do land then it is due to his impeccable comic timing. But overall it is a lost effort from the cast given the miserable writing.
Plan A Plan B is a film where neither Plan A works nor Plan B. All vanilla filled with glitz and glam and very little substance. Available on Netflix.