Review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects – Sequel Ke Side Effects

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Shaadi Cover PicSid (Farhan Akhtar) and Trisha (Vidya Balan) are married, and they know how to keep the magic alive. It’s all roses and sexy lingerie until the unplanned pregnancy and the resultant change in life, lifestyle and romance. Conversations about travel and food are replaced by discussions about baby food and bowel movements.

Trisha gives up her job to be a full-time mom, heaping the financial onus on musician Sid who harbours half-hearted dreams of one day “cutting an album”. Fed up of being passed over for the baby, selfish Sid takes advice from his seemingly (but far from) perfect brother-in-law (Ram Kapoor) and creates an alternate world for himself – one where he can be carefree and revel in his premature midlife crisis. Edging him along is his part-time roomie Manav, played by Vir Das in a space that’s Delhi Belly meets Go Goa Gone.

The writers (Saket Chaudhary, Zeenat Lakhani, Arshad Sayed) offer a one-sided perspective – a chauvinistic one. Trisha goes from being the cool chick to becoming the nagging wife and obsessive mother.

Even preferring to trust a smarmy neighbour (Purab Kohli, who I was sure would show up with a jar of coffee at some point!) and slightly off-balance nanny (Ila Arun), who’s more Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle) than Marry Poppins! Sid’s own disconnect and disinterest in his family is, disappointingly, glossed over.

The pre-interval sitcom rings true for many married people – the humour is drawn from situations we might find familiar and some of the scenes are truly hilarious. Farhan Akhtar’s comic timing is impeccable.

Indeed Balan and Akhtar are the soul of Shaadi Ke Side Effects – at ease, believable and immensely relatable.

I have not had this much fun in a Hindi Movie for a long time. But then comes the second half ka side effect, the over-writing ka full effect.

Director Saket Chaudhary’s Shaadi Ke Side Effects, goes skidding off the rails, because what should have been a glib and breezy hundred minute romcom runs aground with side plots and unnecessary drama. Because, fact is, Trisha and Sid don’t really have any real issues. And then come the confessions and climax, which make you wince.

As a sequels go, Shaadi Ke Side Effects is far more enjoyable than its predecessor, Pyaar Ke Side Effects, in large measure due to the two exceptional lead actors and Sayed’s snappy (though not necessarily witty) dialogues.

Shaadi Ke Side Effects is worth a watch simply for the fun you will have till interval, for Balan’s natural performance and for Akhtar’s charm, skill and ability to make even the cheesiest dialogue droll.

Rating: **1/2