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Friday, December 9, 2011

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: Movie Review || Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl Review ||

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: Movie Review
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Dipannita Sharma, Parineeti Chopra, Aditi Sharma

His name, though prominently makes its presence felt in the title, is revealed in the very last scene of the film. That's because he's a conman by profession who changes identity by the day. And like the title, the viewer is openly informed about Ricky Bahl's job profile though people around him take a while to figure it out.

So Ricky (Ranveer Singh) is Sunny, Dev, Iqbal for different girls who he cons in individual instances. Charm or cleverness, he uses whatever works best to his advantage to swindle the unsuspecting target. But then three of his female victims - Raina (Dipannita Sharma), Dimpy (Parineeti Chopra) and Saira (Aditi Sharma) team up to get even with him.

They hire the services of a smart salesgirl Ishika (Anushka Sharma) who they use as a bait to trap the conman. Ishika poses as daughter of a NRI hotelier who's on a business visit to Goa to invest in property. The idea is to lure him into a business partnership and rip off his riches for revenge. But then cupid strikes and everything goes for a toss.

The film starts off impressively and comes straight to the point without wandering aimlessly. At times it seems too convenient for the victims to part off with their money at the drop of a hat. And consequently it seems even more convenient for a certified conman like Ricky to fall for the trap set by the girl gang. However, the con-games are crisp and executed with such swiftness that you never get time to notice any loose ends. Since we are conversant with the con artist from start, any major suspense element in the plot is ruled out.

Structurally the film reminds of the Hollywood flick John Tucker Must Die with it's plotline of three girls trying to get even with a guy by setting him up with another girl. What saves it from getting into the chick-flick mode is that the girls are not merely betrayed in love but also in business and their revenge mechanism involves smarter cons over momentary cheap-thrills. That takes Devika Bhagat's screenplay a notch higher (though the confessional climax is evocative of her earlier work in Bachna Ae Haseeno where Ranbir Kapoor seeks forgiveness from three girls). Also the Ranveer-Anushka smooching chemistry seems directly derived from their last flick Band Baaja Baaraat.

The major hiccup in this otherwise engaging film is that it falls prey of the typical trappings of Bollywood. As romance takes over the con-games, the smart-n-saucy film is substituted by a tepid tale where the conman wants to come clean and change his ways for that one girl in life. That makes for a lame climax and a conventional end. The graph of the narrative drops somewhere in the second half and plunges even further as one realizes mixing con with cupid might not be the best of ideas. Thankfully the pacing is perfect and the film never seems stretched.

Irrespective of its minor blemishes, director Maneesh Sharma succeeds in striking a constant connect with the audience and also extracts decent performances from the entire cast. Ranveer Singh glides into his multiple con-artist characters effortlessly and radiates such charm that you don't blame the ladies while falling for him. Anushka Sharma comes across as affable but a standard smile pasted on her face sometimes seems overdone. Nevertheless she is alluring in her act and appearance. Thankfully the other three ladies never get overshadowed. Dipannita Sharma is amazingly confident. Aditi Sharma is endearing. Debutante Parineeti Chopra as the blabbermouth gets the best lines and never overdoes her Punjabi kudi part.

While Ladies vs Ricky Bahl doesn't exceed expectations (like Band Baaja Baaraat), it doesn't con you in the name of entertainment either.


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