Picture Post-Mortem: Khoobsurat

Not all things are perfect, but you end up falling in love with a few of them. Loving them through all their imperfections. I loved Khoobsurat. I know it’s predictable. I know it has some over-the-top sequences. Aren’t all Disney fairy-tales like that?

Sonam Kapoor plays a physiotherapist, seemingly possessed by the spirit of Jab We Met’s Kareena Kapoor. She is loud but fails to add much volume to the movie. Dr. Milli Chakravarty, Sonam’s character, breaks all the stereotypes you might associate with doctors. Her wardrobe is full of sharp contrasts, neons and comic prints. There’s no stethoscope hanging from her neck. She looks like a girl on her post-class-12-boards vacation. But she’s a doctor, no less. PPM-Khoobsurat

Much of the movie was hyped on Fawad Khan, the guy from Zindagi Gulzar Hai. He won me everywhere. Acting his part as the young prince, Vikram Rathore, he fitted naturally into every scene. Maybe he’s born to play ultra rich and uber-cool characters. Rajasthan’s reigning royalty would be happy to see such a decent representation.

Dr. Milli is invited by the queen of Sambhalgarh, Rajasthan, Nirmala Devi Rathore (Ratna Pathak Shah) to treat her husband. The palace has walls made of manners, and is held together by the cement of dignity. Nirmala Devi is a matriarch and works by the hand of the clock. Enters the doctor. She paints the palace red (not literally), ties colorful scarves all around her room (literally) and breaks all the ‘rules of the house’. The big boss is evidently angry and wants to throw the doctor out. But the King, Shekhar Rathore, started to show signs of improvements. Everyone started loving the doctor, including the prince. This is where the buffalo goes into the waters.

Rathore Junior is engaged to Miss Vero Moda Al-Gucci ibn-Mango, Aditi Rao Hyadri. Panic attacks! Soon the reality-with-realization starts to sink in, and the Disney soul takes over the movie. Very simply written by Indira Bisht, this flows smoothly, though with a slight lag in the climax. But there’s never a dull moment. Shashanka Ghosh’s visual grandeur keeps you hooked like a painting beautifully sketched.

Though the characters remain sketchy, Ratna Pathak Shah and Kirron Kher play the part of mothers so brilliantly. Shah reminded me of the TV series ‘Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai’ at various places and I was happy to note the similarities. Kirron Kher may well be remembered as the Nirupa Roy of our age.

What convinced me more for this movie were the songs. Sneha Khanwalkar is amazing. Khanwalkar’s mix of folk with contemporary music should definitely be acknowledged and loved. Just give ‘Preet’ or ‘Naina’ a hear and you will understand my point. ‘Maa Ka Phone’, ‘Engine Ki Seeti’ are again wonderful tracks of a different league. This music album is an all-rounder.

The movie holds strongly through its innings. The match is set, and the fairy-tale melts your heart. The poetry that doesn’t rhyme is poetry still, with all its beauty. And that’s what makes Khoobsurat, so much Khoobsurat!


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