Multiple Releases! With eight releases in the past two weeks, Bollywood has been witnessing a range of multiple releases. And the trend continues with five films having released this week on 14th October; one of them being the low budget Jo Dooba So Paar – It's Love in Bihar! With no star attraction and lack of marketing hype, where does this flick stand in front of its much stronger competition i.e. Y Films' Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, Nagesh Kukunoor's Mod, the mega budget film Aazaan and the funky My Friend Pinto. Does Jo Dooba So Paar – It's Love in Bihar have the ability to carve a niche for itself among the many releases this week? Unlikely!
Being kicked out of school and having a record of flunking exams, Kishu assists his father on the truck. There is an explosive energy lurking behind every corner. Kishu watches the violence and corruption negotiating it in his own quirky head-on manner. There is not much hope for a bright and prosperous future for Kishu. Then he falls in love with an American girl - Sapna. She has come to Bihar to research on Madhubani Paintings. To pursue her studies she ventures into risky areas. The odds are heavily against Kishu- her protective, rich upper caste uncle, his own temperamental father and the social distance. But Kishu is irreversibly and irrevocably in love. Aided by his friends, he tries to explore this romance and when it seems to them that things might just click, Sapna's American boyfriend comes into the picture. And then Sapna is kidnapped...
While the concept of a 'Bihari type' love story might not interest a major section of the Hindi film audience, one must applaud the film-maker for daring to make something different in the form of Jo Dooba So Paar – It's Love in Bihar. What works most for this film is its innocence and simplicity. The innocence in Kishu's eyes filled with love for Sapna, his attempts to speak in broken English to her, his crash when he learns of Sapna's existent boyfriend; your heart feels for Kishu. The film has a very short and crisp first half. Also, there is no unclean and over-the-top Bihari humour which would be usually expected from such a film. The film is also very well-researched in terms of its characterizations, dialect, etc. However, on the flipside, the film has an extremely dragged second half. Senior actors like Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Sadia Siddiqui have been wasted. Also, the characters are very confusing and poorly introduced. For instance, one still doesn't understand the chemistry between Vinay Pathak and Sadia Siddiqui. Do they love each other? Why are they staying in the same house? In fact, initially it seems like Sadia Siddiqui has a crush on Kishu. Background information lacks clarity. Also, the film does have some amateurish scenes and dialogues at places.
Praveen Kumar has done a decent job as a director considering it's his directorial debut. However, his screenplay lacks depth and clarity. If handled well, the film could have turned out to be a surprising entertainer like Bheja Fry and Khosla Ka Ghosla. Cinematographer Arvind K does an appropriate job. Dialogues manage the Bihari dialect well, however, seems amateurish at places. Anand Tiwari as Kishu is the soul of the film. The film rests on his shoulders. From his dialect and expressions to body language, it all seems perfect. If you feel for Kishu, or rather if the films works even a little bit, it's only because of this brilliant performer. Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and Sania Siddiqui are seen in miniscule roles. Nevertheless, they are perfect in their bits. Also, it's good to see Vinay Pathak doing something different from the 'Bheja Fry' type comedies for a change. He's terrific! Sita Ragione Spada is strictly okay. Dadhi Pandey is brilliant.
Overall, a film like Jo Dooba So Paar – It's Love in Bihar having an extremely niche audience and absolutely no star power or marketing hype, usually needs to depend on some high quality content to emerge victorious. However, the chances seem negligible in this case. To sum it up, Jo Dooba So Paar – It's Love in Bihar is nothing extra-ordinary. But yes, it wouldn't be a bad idea to catch up on its television telecast.Rating: ** 1/2 stars
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