Simran

The other day, I had a banana caramel ice cream at a place called ‘Degchi’ in Poona. The banana was too bananaesque and the caramel was too carameliac. I had to flail my tongue to get through one gooey lump. Too much of a good thing is always a disaster for a recipe, or a recipe for a disaster. Food or films.

‘Simran’ lays out all the ingredients on the kitchen counter. A contentious father. A helpless mother. A troublesome ex. A nice guy prospect. A coke-sniffing gangster. A violent thug. Home. Mortgage. Marriage. Gambling. Bank robbery. But all it does is pass the ingredients over the cooking pot, hoping that a whiff of them will flavor the dish. And the dish remains only Kangana.

Stars of course add value to a film. Controversial stars add more value. But when all the other elements of the film remain only as one line ideas, the star has nothing to do but act with themselves, and that seems too much like play-acting, a big kid who takes over the game, leaving it no game at all. The film remains nothing more than a one-page story, for all the off-screen battles waged on writing credits.

And then, there is that line. The one that I hate. The one worse than being too much banana or caramel. Praful Patel is a girl we haven’t seen too much in Hindi films, upbeat, guilt-free, happy to be alone, but alas, she too gets to say the line, ‘You are a nice guy. Please don’t get involved with a girl like me.’ Hmm. There it is. This ‘girl like me’ business never ends. Why can’t a ‘girl like me’ get the nice guy? Or if she says ‘no’ to him, why not because she is bored with him, and not because he is ‘too nice for her’ and she does not deserve him?

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