I should have turned tail and run out of the theatre at the introduction scene of our desi Archie, Gautam Kapoor laying it on thick for the airhostess on board a flight that takes him from Delhi to London but I din’t. Then comes the scene where Archie deliberately, dramatically *rolls eyes* runs into Betty aka Meera (name is picked to denote self sacrificing lamb…seriously!!!), I should have run then but I still held on as the promise of a cocktail was intoxicating.
Betty/Meera comes to London searching for her husband Kunal, who turns out to be a jerk that married her for the money and wants to do nothing with her. In comes Veronica, a spoilt rich brat (bitch in her own words) who parties hard and hardly cares about anything. She finds a tearful Betty, learns her story and brings her home. Two scenes later they become best of buddies and turn sisters four scenes later.
Sorry! Where was I? *continues after urgently downing two cups of coffee to stay awake*
Hmm…the hero, Archie/Gautam hooks up with Veronica, to the utter disbelief of prudish Betty and the trio even go on to sing couple of songs together, Daaru Desi and Tumhi ho Bandhu, which by the way are the only highlights of the movie. To cut the long story short, Archie’s Punjabi mother from Delhi lands up in London looking for her potential bahu and is shown Desi Beti jaisi Betty as one. She gets totally taken in by Seedhi Saadhi Betty and gives them her blessings. She soon leaves for Delhi, but not before lovingly telling Veronica to cover herself up so she can search for a suitable groom for her. On hearing that, Veronica does a volte face and starts yearning for domesticity with Archie.
Archie, meanwhile, acts like a lightening struck him (It probably did while I wasn’t looking) with a bolt of love for Betty. I have no clue what struck Betty but she too starts feeling the love for Archie. He then proceeds to break the news to Veronica, who turns into a bitter rich bitch on learning that her best friend betrayed her. She parties as always, gets drunk and oozes all the bitterness on to Betty.
Next morning, Betty leaves (sacrifices) warning Archie not to leave Veronica. Some mind numbing scenes later, Veronica realizes Archie’s love for Betty and unites them. At this point, I almost fainted with relief!
Amidst Betty, Veronica, and Archie trio I was desperately searching for Jughead, only to realize that I was the Jughead who was stuffing herself with tubs of popcorn downing it with glasses of pepsi, munching on Nachos to keep from screaming, throughout the movie.
Saif Ali Khan breezes through the role but is tad too old, tad too accomplished, tad too polished to play a joker trying hard to be serious and vice versa. A round of applause for Deepika Padukone who makes a convincing drunk with a baggage that she is desperately trying to offload but the flaky script and lifeless dialogues let her down completely. Newcomer Diana Penty is adorable to look at and shows signs of a good actress in the making provided the script and direction support it.
Boman Irani as Gautam’s indulgent mamaji with a vilayati wife and Dimple Kapadia as Gautam’s strict Punjabi mother lift the drama from the dumps with their acting prowess honed to perfection with years of experience. Their cameo proves that there is no match for experience coupled with talent.
I cannot help but think that the movie was made based on a script that had few pages missing. On hind sight, even a full script wouldn’t have made a difference. Some parties are meant to be missed. Stay home and grab a copy of Archie comics instead, even if it is Veronica, Archie ends up with at the end of the book.