Movie Reviews

Pyaar Ka Punchnama: Review

Pyaar Ka Punchnama

Cast: Kartikeya Tiwari, Rayo Bhakhirta, Divyendu Sharma, Sonalli Sehgal, Nushrat Bharucha, Ishita Sharma

Directed by Luv Ranjan

Rating: *

If you've reached this page, you're possibly considering this painfully tacky take on anti-rom-coms. While most films in this genre aim to prove that love can be a painful experience, this one is hell-bent on establishing that women have been created by God with a sole purpose to exploit men. While the exclusive purpose of 'Pyaar ka Punchnama' is to punch you with stereotypes, minimum wage acting and characters that make caricatures look good.

The film is about three friends who share a pad in Delhi. First, Vikrant (Raayo Bhakhirta), who looks like a cross between a watered-down Sendhil and Kunal Kapoor, has special talents: smoking, playing the guitar, maintaining a poker face and usually managing to perform these three simultaneously. Second, Rajat a.k.a Rajjo (Kartikeya Tiwari), special trait: unnecessarily smiling between all his dialogues, most of which begin or end with, I'm sorry, Babu!" and "I love you". Sigh. Third, Nishant a.k.a Liquid (Divyendu Sharma), a desi, crass version of Joe Pesci, only more abusive, testy and less confident with the ladies.

So, after what seems like a generation spent in a tiresome song to establish their happy singlehood (buffooning about, playing console games, drinking beer etc), they fall in love. Now, each one bumps into a girl who initially seems absolutely flawless. But just as the boys commit themselves, the girls commit themselves, to making their lives miserable. Vikrant's  better half, Riya (Sonalli Sehgal) turns out to be a society version of the village bicycle (everyone's had a ride), while Rajat's attention-freak girlfriend, Neha (Nushrat Bharucha), makes words like obsessive and manipulative seem feeble. Liquid begs his love for colleague Charu (Ishita Sharma) who already has a boyfriend and reduces him to an office bitch, available on call to perform all her sundry tasks. How these miserable relationships conclude is hardly a mystery. But sitting through the entire runtime of this film could make you history. Excuse the rhyme.

The film does have sparks of decent writing like the monologue that Rajat spouts on how girlfriends can render one lifeless. Also many might want to cry along with our dudes in distress, having suffered similar instances or girlfriends, as improbable as they may be. But in totality, the utter and extreme emasculation of the three male leads in the film ensures that the spoof quotient overtakes reality and logic.

Kartikeya Tiwari is, possibly, the only find among this group of acting school enthusiasts. Our Hindi film industry breeds on every known superstition when it comes to names of stars. Actors take great pride in re-arranging vowels, adding 'K's' and removing random letters from their names in order to spell success. In such a light, which Baba genius recommended this cast to go ahead with names like Raayo Bhakhirta and Nushrat Bharucha? Not the kind of names you would leave your kids alone with, right?

Among the songs, "Ishq Na Kariyo Kakke" would surely boom out of cars driven by rotten teens and "Kutta" has a cute video at the end, sort of like a reward for enduring the entire film.

Some films have longevity while this one just feels long. So, despite my warnings if you end up watching this 'Punchnama' of cinema, don't come and introduce me to Mr left fist and Mrs right fist.

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Kunal Guha