Khoobsurat is one of those films that manage to deliver to an extent because it makes little promises. The kitschyand candy-flossy lookof the film prepares one for the happy and breezy ride to be offered by the original fairy tale churner, Disney. That, the film does achieve, but overall, it is a bland affair with a story that is way too predictable.
This film is the official remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1980 hit. But Director Shashanka Ghosh opts for merely the kernel of the idea of the original ‘Khoobsurat’, and does very little with the new material to stir up things between the leads, Sonam Kapoor and Pakistani actor, Fawad khan.
Ghosh with writer Indira Bisht seem so insistent on creating a Disney fairytale that they have the Rathores of Sambhalgar and the palaces create the perfect ambiance for a fairy tale love story. But the film’s screenplay is feeble and falters so much so that even the beautiful visuals of the palaces don’t make up for it. The story and screenplay have little meat in the second half where it finally shows some steam but it is already too late. The story fails to convince on many occasions. For instance, a break-up between a couple that’s engaged to be married feels strangely sterile, and the protagonist’s way of dealing with heartbreak towards the end of the film feels forced and contrived.Voiceovers to give the audience a peek into the minds of the lead characters remain a constant distraction throughout the film which could have been done away with.
Sonam, in the role of a klutz amongst royalty, tries tad too hard to be adorable and ends up being annoying. One might even say being comic is not her fair. Kapoor plays a high-profile physiotherapist (her clients include cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sehwag) who is enlisted to treat Rathore’s (Fawad) father, a wheel-chair bound ‘maharaja’. She’s a misfit amongst the royals and too much time is wasted trying to drive home that point. Kapoor, being the real-life fashionist that she is, proves that she can carry even the most outlandish prints comfortably, but one would wish she brought some subtlety to her acting. Fawad raises above what has been given to him, and makes his character believable, although one does miss seeing any real spark fly between the two, the kind of romance Fawad’s fans are used to seeing on screen.
Khoobsurat is a film that could have been infinitely worse if not for its supporting cast, especially, Ratna Pathak and Kirron Kher. They seem to breathe life into an otherwise drab party. Tighter editing and trimming off of Sonam’s shrill, cute act would have elevated this to an engaging film. Sneha Khanwalkar’s music is fun but at times too funky for a story that is invested in a fairy tale love. But despite the glaring problems,if you seek comfort in the familiar, Khoobsurat could be your choice this week.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak Shah, KirronKher, Aditi Rao Hydari
Director: Shashanka Ghosh
Writer: Indira Bisht
Rating: Two and a half star