Pyaar ka Punchnama 2
Director: Luv Ranjan
Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sonalli Sehgall
The dating game in this country (like in all countries, I’m presuming) is not a straight line of boy proposes-girl disposes, and then wedding bells on the cards. If you are looking at something more complicated than a fling, the beautifully structured matrix of a relationship comes into play.
Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 is an extension of its prequel, in a different context and with different situations. But essentially, it is a man’s handbook for how to date the modern woman, with all its complications. Three relationships that can at best be called caricatures, with six very different stereotypes: Gogo and Chiku, Chauka and Supriya, and Thakur and Kusum bring out all the kitchen sink drama in this situation.
She might be a (lord help us) feminist who wants to pay her own bills, but then that just means she is actually a gold digger (which you find out about later, when she claims to be pregnant with your child). She might ask you to trust her and tell you that she is serious about you, but then that just means she is going to take advantage of you and listen to her controlling parents (and land you in a soup with the police). She might tell you she is faithful, but that only means she is going to let you down and emotionally (and potentially physically) cheat on you.
These rather bleak scenarios are drawn up for male engineering students of the country, a sample size large enough to constitute an ethnic community of their own, with their own ways
This may include living in a posh Delhi house, getting a girlfriend who, incidentally, has the conventionally accepted “hot” figure, whatever type she might be (fashionable but dumb, artistic but selfish, loving but cowardly), and being in great shape, holding down a good job or having friends kind enough to pay for the lifestyle that you cannot afford, and, finally, guzzling beer with no danger to your abs.
Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 is so biased towards its men that it would have been less complimentary had their own doting mothers written the script. And the girls so vicious, whimsical, unreliable and plain stupid, that not even their worst enemies could have painted a poorer picture of them.
As a woman reviewing this, you ask yourself of the masochism of the exercise; enjoying the punchlines as much as the woman sitting next to you and guffawing, in a full hall while a morning show is on.
While the director has largely drawn a boorish, crass conclusion of some very real life situations, this film is an enjoyable watch for anyone who has dared to date in the modern world. There are several ha-ha and some actual laugh-out-loud scenarios that fill up listicles on the internet with trash like “10 ways to get your boyfriend’s attention”, and “5 sweet nothings to whisper into your lover’s ears”.
There is not much hard-hitting insight despite the several monologues afforded to the boys who make the main protagonists of this film: The “Why does she want to cuddle” problem has mutated into “Why does she want me to talk her to sleep”, and similar minute updates, making this film a mocumentary of what is going on in the indigenous dating business.
You believed you were having an innocent, us-against-the-world, egalitarian relationship, and then, suddenly, these niggling issues, common to so many relationships, crop up, to put you into the “You’re not unique, and I told you
Ideally, watch this film with boyfriends of the past, present and future, as an exercise that essays all the futile fights that waste your breath and time. There is no way to get over the futility of it all, except to laugh it off.
Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 is cathartic to all wounded lovers, surprisingly both male and female — if you cannot laugh with them, at least you laugh at them for a good two hours and 40 minutes.