Director: Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra
Rating: 2.5 /5
In a room full of Brits, a humble Akshay Kumar proudly makes India proud with a well-toned speech about his homeland’s achievements. That was the beauty of Vipul Shah’s Namastey London. The director tries to recreate the magic with Namaste England as Arjun Kapoor subtly reminds an Indian, posing as a Britisher, the essence of India. A moving scene it was, but when the rest of Namaste England was a melodramatic drag, you feel bad for this particular scene and Arjun Kapoor as well.
Namaste England is the story of ‘farmer’ Param (Arjun Kapoor) who falls in love with strong-minded Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) with the backdrop of Punjab. Jasmeet has two dreams – living an independent working life in London away from patriarchy and marrying Param.
Param is the extra supportive husband with moral ideals and unfortunately, Jasmeet betrays him and moves to London under dire circumstances. The rest of the journey sees Param’s conquest in London to win back the heart of the love of his life.
First things first, it’s the topic of women empowerment that is tackled tastelessly in Namaste England. When you bring up feminism, at a time where the Me Too movement is on an uproar, as the main motive for the film, you can’t have the atypical stalkerish Romeo, which is what Param is initially. Yes I got it, Jasmeet has been shunned under the patriarchy rule but over-emphasising it with dodgy dialogues is not going to make an impact.
A beautiful love story in under 10 mins was shown in the animated flick Up about an old couple. Vipul and the writers Suresh Nair and Ritesh Shah too try to fasten the love story and get to the happy ending but fail miserably. Chat Mangni Pat Shaadi, but with a song sequence that was never-ending.
Vipul Shah is known for his melodrama movies, case in point Waqt, which worked back then but is ill-timed now. Namaste England is a case of shoddy and convenient writing, extremely shady editing, bad punchlines and characters you don’t want to root for.
I felt the most remorse for Arjun Kapoor, who goes back to his Ki & Ka roots and gives us a character you can’t help but admire. Arjun is earnest in the limited character sketch drawn out for him.
On the other hand, Parineeti Chopra looks gorgeous in the traditional attires that are a sure steal for every shopaholic but with a poorly written anti-feminist character, you want Param to not end up with Jasmeet.
Unlike Kareena’s strong avatar in Ki & Ka of the workaholic but with a heart of gold, Jasmeet is the exact opposite who uses Param in the ugliest of ways to get what she wants.
The comic relief comes through a special appearance by Mallika Dua as Harpreet, Jasmeet’s bestie who delivers some saving grace one-liners.
Namaste England is filled with overdramatic emotions at every nook and corner. For example, there’s a touching scene of a Pakistani man who is illegally staying in London, while his wife and daughter are in Pakistan.
Somehow, you can’t sympathise or empathise with any of them and under no circumstances, is it the actors fault. Blame it on the writing, for once!
When it comes to the music in the film, Dhoom Dhadakka is a song that will grow on you while the rest could have easily been skipped. Punjab’s essence is in full flow and is beautifully shown through the cinematography and production design. However, for a movie called Namaste England, London was not a very welcoming sight to see.