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Lafangey Parindey: Movie Review

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Cast: Deepika Padukone, Neil Mukesh
Direction: Pradeep Sarkar
Producer: Yash Raj Films


Renuka Vyavahare/INDIATIMES MOVIES: Only a Mumbaikar who takes that crowded local train everyday to work, dances on Nashik Dhol, Lezim taasha during Ganapati festival, plays the dandiya in Navratri and does the popular Govinda dance during Dahi Handi knows where the beauty of his city lies. It does not lie in malls, multiplexes and any form of modernisation that Mumbai is often associated with. It lies in its Mumbaiyya culture, created by its real inhabitants who predominantly reside in sprawling chawls and match box sized flats rather than palatial sea facing bungalows.

Pradeep Sarkar pans his camera on these gritty streets and gullies of Mumbai and tells a simple tale of two free-spirited youngsters who believe nothing is impossible.

Popularly known as One Shot Nandu, Nandan Kamtekar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a small time boxer who beats his opponent in one punch. Though Nandu’s popularity is limited to his locality, it doesn’t limit his dreams. Nandu dreams of stepping into his mentor Anna’s (Kay Kay Menon) shoes. He also dreams of becoming an important member of his godfather Usman’s underworld gang.

Another Tilakwadi resident, a blind Pinky Palkar (Deepika Padukone) too is a dreamer. Pinky is a skater who loves to dance. She thus dances on skates and dreams of becoming a world renowned dancer some day. Pinky curses herself for being born in a lower middle class family but her tapori neighbourhood that fondly addresses her as ‘dance bar’ and ‘Kareena Kapoor of Tilakwadi’ does not bog her down.

As fate would have it, a tragic incident brings the two together while their dreams come crashing down. Will the two be able to overcome all odds, fight their destiny and shun the mediocrity they thoroughly despise... forms the story of Lafangey Parindey.

The beauty of the film lies in its simplicity. Sarkar does not get preachy or patronizing in his storytelling in spite of his story being predictable. The portrayal of Mumbai life including the taporigiri showed is not over-the-top. The clothes and even the names of the characters fit the setting. Second half is a bit of a drag but even then the film never loses its grip. High on emotions, the film is more of a drama but comedy and romance too have their prominence in the script.

Deepika Padukone is an apt choice for Pinky Palkar. She looks, walks and talks like a perfect Mumbaichi Marathi Mulgi. She is in fact a revelation as far as her performance goes. As a blind girl who loathes any kind of sympathy coming her way, she is superb. This has to be Deepika’s best performance so far.

Neil too acts exceptionally well. He is restrained and real when he displays all of Nandu’s emotions through his eyes. Nandu’s inner conflict with his biggest regrets and fight to achieve redemption is beautifully portrayed by Neil although the actor falls short of getting into the skin of his character. His stylish clothes, neat and clean accent and fairer than fair complexion, unfortunately fails him.

The supporting cast is superb. The actors who play Chaddi and Diesel are just like your real best friends who would never leave a single chance to pull your leg.

Music is decent with ‘ Main Lafanga Bada’ by Mohit Chauhan and ‘ Dhatad Tatad’ being the best songs of the lot.

Lafangey Parindey is a human tale of risk and loss, and emotional victories. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of Mumbai. Watch it for its earnest performances, real characters and sheer simplicity.

After churning out letdowns like Tashan, Pyaar Impossible, Dil Bole Hadippa and Badmaash Company, Yash Raj finally gets it right this time.


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