Tanuja Chandra‘s Qarib Qarib Singlle places Irrfan in a light we love to see him in – the ballsy carefree reckless man who doesn’t hold back from talking his heart out. The flick is built on romance but the chemistry, unfortunately, doesn’t have the right spark to make you really feel it. On one hand, Irrfan simply mesmerizes you with his realistic performance. On the other hand, there is Parvathy who fails to impress you as much.
Qarib Qarib Singlle is subtly put on the building block of moving on. It tries to pass down the message of how important it is to move on even though things from the past still cling to you. If you don’t let go, you end up chafing your present. The biggest strength of Qarib Qarib Singlle is that it is laconic where it matters the most. It allows the silence to do most of the talking. While it is a virtue well played by Tanuja Chandra, I believe, it might have also baffled some of the audience.
On a personal level, I felt the climax was brilliantly pulled off. That every movie should learn from the subtlety that went on in its ending. It leaves you brooding, speaking a thousand words without actually saying anything. It is a beautifully painted picture that tells us how a reconciliation scene should be properly theatricalized.
Direction of Qarib Qarib Singlle Movie
While Tanuja Chandra has garnered experience aplenty throughout her 22 years of cinematic run, she has forever kept herself on the learning curve. She is open to experiments, a fact evident through her work. She has literally grown as a director.
But still a lot of ground is left to cover, so you can tell by the unwanted shots she has ended up nodding to.
Like some deliberate shots where you literally feel the pointlessness of placing small bulbs in front of the camera to deliberately milk the bokeh. You can picture her cinematographer asking her – “How about I take this shot like this?”
She chooses to mess with the “fourth wall” as in a way letting the protagonist talk to the audience. Although it isn’t intended for the audience in reality and is a bold decision per se, it just doesn’t feel right. What makes the work on the fourth wall really shoddy is Parvathy’s disconnect. She seems conscious when she talks, not to mention the slight camera zoom in, which appears to be clearly done on a software.
If we look at the bright side of Tanuja’s direction, she has learned to curtail the obvious from her frames, a strength which a lot of directors today are still struggling with. It is with time people move towards becoming better versions of themselves. Qarib Qarib Singlle is like a conch blaring of her arrival nay her revival, in a country that’s learning to revere the changing face of Cinema.
Irrfan Khan as Yogi
It is hard to cover Irrfan in words. He has become this peerless dome of perfection who is hard to keep up with. You put anyone against him, if they are not good enough, it simply shows.
The character Irrfan plays here is that of Yogi. He plays a lot of him taking liberty with his acts and creates this endearing character that is quite candid in his ways. Yogi’s superlative strength is in the way he treats the people he meets. He is a down to earth bloke who truly enjoys life as he lives it. At the same time, he is clumsy too as he makes a dozen mistakes in the wake of his existence.
The best thing is that he doesn’t take things as seriously as we often tend to. There is no problem in the world that’s so huge that it doesn’t have a workaround.
Yogi is literally ogling us to be like him, to sport a carefree attitude even when things go south on you. To appreciate little things in life, to talk, really talk with people, with strangers as you bump into them, making them forget all their problems. To tag people along your ride making life less miserable for them and to keep smiling and appreciating people despite how bitter life might become.
Parvathy as Jaya
While we have a man so relaxed and leading an uncomplaining life, we have the exact opposite Jaya, an uptight girl who is drowning in the sea of her insecurities. She has a past she is clinging on to. Moving on doesn’t feel right to her. She has been pushed so much that she has learned to compromise with everything, listening to right about everything.
Jaya keeps talking to his dead hubby breaking the fourth wall on us occasionally in a way asking for his permission in everything she does. Opening up to finally let someone in, she decides to do what the world around her is doing – finding a partner. That’s how Yogi happens.
To be really honest, there are a lot of times you feel disconnected owing to Parvathy’s performance. The way she is supposed to react to a thing sometimes feels not up to the mark.
However, good, she looks onscreen alongside him, in the end, you are left feeling, maybe Parvathy wasn’t the right choice for the flick. Since Jaya was the protagonist, her role demanded a heightened sense of charisma, so that one could start relating to her character almost immediately. But somehow it was difficult to stay on the same page with her. You fail to empathize with her emotions because she clearly doesn’t appear to be having any.
The Ending Explained (Spoilers)
The melodrama has been smartly pushed to the end of the flick so that the audience is allowed ample time to fall in love with the characters just as the characters fall for each other. It is written in emotions as you begin to feel how both Jaya and Yogi aren’t ready to move on with their lives. Even though they secretly want to, they are happy with the way things are. Grown accustomed to their usual way of living.
Yogi, the guy who has issues moving on, still carries tokens of memories from his past girlfriend in his pocket. He is okay with the life he has chosen to lead by keeping things from his past, occasionally bumping into them and letting his past take a piece of him. Then there is Jaya, who still talks to her dead husband, still uses his name on her password. Both of them are struggling with it unknowingly.
They are yet to understand what they have been doing. In the finality of meeting their exes, both of them end up hurting each other, only to realize the real value of moving on. They have no clue whatsoever of how things would pan out if only they chose to come to terms with the good things in their past, and chose to move on.
Exes Messing with Your Life Since Forever
In an uncaring theatrical display of emotions, Jaya bursts out losing it at Yogi, for making everything about him. That the whole trip was intended just for him, when in reality Jaya had agreed to come with him only for the sake of meeting her ex in Gangtok. Yogi’s terse reply forces her to see her own flaws too. The good in all that venting is that she becomes what she was unable to become – bold!
Meeting with an ex isn’t easy, and is a downward tumble. Whilst we see Yogi noticing how he has influenced all his girlfriends so much that they were unable to forget him, he comes to terms with himself, impressed by how good or bad the life had turned for them. The whole trip in his head was to see how the people he had affected so much were faring in life. Even though he realizes that some were fine, some weren’t, there were elements of him in every life nevertheless.
Happy and content with the bottom line that people never really move on in reality, that they keep the good things close to their heart even when they move on, Yogi ends up finding out how he had influenced Jaya too, who had clearly fallen in love with him, from the blog she had made about him. It should be well noted that Jaya had finally stopped clinging on to her dead husband as well when we find her coming to terms with him in a final goodbye after which she stops to look at the fourth wall.
In the Gandola Lift
Yogi then pursues her eventually running into her in a Gandola lift that he doesn’t miss this time. It, in a way, depicts how serious he has become about the relationship. That he is keen on loving her back and not letting life decide his fate this time.
We see Jaya in tears in the lift. It is fathomable that things didn’t go well for her either. As stated before, meeting an ex isn’t really easy. It’s headed nowhere, but the good news is that the lift they are on, is definitely going somewhere. With that, the movie ends.
The Final Verdict
Qarib Qarib Singlle might have been a play at a dating app, but what it becomes eventually is something huge.
It is like almost shouting at us that everyone in life is “Qarib Qarib Singlle” only. Everyone is having a hard time moving on. While we can’t really do anything about the past, one must choose to take the good from it and move on. That’s one lesson that the flick hides in its alluring storyline.
I am pretty sure Tanuja Chandra finally feels validated in today’s feminist era. It is great that time is doing justice to her at last. Watch this flick for its humour, for Irrfan and for its intense messages.
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Check out the trailer of Qarib Qarib Singlle movie here: