Movie review: Lafangey Parindey
Friday, August 20, 2010
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Neil Nitin Mukesh
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
a wannabe figure skater, cannot see. He, a bare-knuckles
street-fighter, doesn't need to. But both Pinky Palkar and Nandan
Kamtekar have their sights firmly set on a better life, a life beyond
the mean backstreets of Mumbai. The path out of this morass is,
needless to say, littered with countless snares.
This is just
the kind of narrative raw material that is inherently primed to yield
loads of drama, some dirty dancing and a bit of daredevilry. But does
As a love story of a somewhat different timbre, Pradeep
Sarkar's third directorial vehicle is youthful, nimble and sure-footed,
a far cry from his previous outing, the rather stodgy Laaga Chunari
For the most part, Lafangey Parindey trundles along
at a fair clip, although it never turns into anything more than a
predictable ride. On the way, there is much bump and grind, and flying
fists and bloodied noses too. But behind it all is a wholesome human
tale that celebrates the doggedness of those that are down and but not
Not everything that Lafangey Parindey delivers is likely to
strike the audience as convincing, but on the whole the impact of this
effervescent entertainer is pretty rounded, which, given the many
recent misfires from the Yash Raj Films (YRF) cannon (Tashan, Pyaar
Impossible, Dil Bole Hadippa, Badmaash Company), is saying a lot.
Lafangey Parindey, the Bollywood tapori makes a clean break from his
usual moorings. Well, his lingo still reeks of the street, his wadi
buddies answer to names like Chuddi, Gulkand and Diesel and, like all
good aamchi Mumbai mulgas, they have a customary go at the dahi handi.
this is a YRF film, so the gang here isn't of the grubby, crude,
foul-mouthed variety. These boys mimic their upper-class counterparts:
the Barista crowd of numerous Bollywood flicks.
supposed grit and grime of a Mumbai bustee assumes a soft halogen glow
in Lafangey Parindey. The cluttered neighbourhood wears a well-scrubbed
look and the rough and tumble of life here – the cops and the
underworld are never far away – is lent a romanticised halo.
the film's edgy, go-getting soundtrack (music: R Anandh, lyrics:
Swanand Kirkire) is a marked departure. Aided by the informal ways in
which the songs are filmed and edited, the music captures the sprightly
spirit of the film to perfection. Kirkire's Gulzaresque Mann lafanga
bada/Apne mann ki kare and the grungy rhythms of the peppy Dhatad tatad
number are truly striking.
One Shot Nandu (Neil Nitin Mukesh) –
the name is derived from his uncanny ability to lay his opponent low
with one blow – talks tough, acts rough and is blessed with exceptional
wiles. He fights blindfolded every Friday for satta king Usman Ali
(Piyush Mishra, as exceptional as ever). He always wins.
(Deepika Padukone), a shopping mall employee, dreams of winning Rs 50
lakh from India's Got Talent, but an accident throws her off track. She
loses her eyesight, job and confidence. Egged on by Nandu, she learns
to refocus herself on her goal. She uses all her senses – touch, smell,
sound and heart – to offset the absence of sight.
Pinky form an unlikely pair, and as fate and life-altering twists throw
them into the same ring, they learn to wriggle their way out of the
The story of two underdogs from the wrong side of the
urban divide fighting tooth and nail for their place in the sun may not
be strikingly original. It might not be particularly rousing either.
But Lafangey Parindey has enough energy going to hold the interest of
the audience. Particularly stunning are the figure skating sequences.
Full marks to the choreographer and the lead pair.
Padukone has several hits behind her. Neil Nitin Mukesh is still
looking for the first real blockbuster of his career although he has
figured in films like Johnny Gaddar, New York and Jail. Neither of the
two is a finished article yet but they are getting there. Lafangey
Parindey offers a canvas that allows them to use just the right colours
and moods. The duo does a fine job.
Lafangey Parindey soars just high enough to stand a fair chance of garnering mass applause.
publicity machinery had, in the days leading up to the release, let on
that the film's fight sequences and stunts were performed by the lead
actors themselves, without the aid of body doubles. Wow! But why would
young, promising actors who have their lives and careers ahead of them
risk their limbs for a film like this?
What are a few bruises on the body if a box office hit is the reward? Lafangey Parindey has the makings of one.
Chatterjee is a National Award-winning film critic who has covered film
festivals around the world, including the ones in Cannes and Toronto.
He will be writing reviews exclusively for NDTVMovies.com)
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