23 February 2007 | xpics
Giving a new meaning to character 'driven', Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd is a bus journey of varied characters on honeymoon to Goa
Honeymoon Travels Private Ltd: Movie Review Rating: *** Honeymoon Travels Private Ltd, as one expects, is a story of six diverse couples on their honeymoon tour to Goa. But what one doesn't predict is the experience in store for them.
There is a Bengali couple with a conservative husband (Kay Kay Menon) and a raring-to-go wife (Raima Sen). There is a perfect Parsi couple (Abhay Deol Minissha Lamba) who are always in sync with each other and never ever catch up a fight. A Gujarati duo flawlessly named Hitesh (Ranvir) and Shilpa (Dia Mirza) forms the imperfect couple. Then there is an NRI Richie (Vikram Chatwal) married to a Bambaiyya girl (Sandhya Mridul). A college lovebird duo (Amisha Patel Karan Khanna) and an elderly couple (Boman Irani Shabana Azmi) complete the dozen honeymooners. So what's the story? Well their characterizations itself! The character driven film takes the story forward with each couple's flashback narrative and a fast-forward tale telling in a span of the six days of their honeymoon in Goa.
With its six assorted anecdotes, this light-hearted romantic comedy tries to capture the varied flavours of love. You might love some story, laugh on some, relate to some and perhaps even reject some. But there's enough on the platter to keep you satiated. How and what you digest depends on your love appetite.
Debutante director Reema Kagti (who has assisted on films like Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai) adopts a fascinating storytelling technique. Despite six separate stories the film isn't episodic which gives more scope of chemistry between the characters that forms the major highlight of the screenplay. The flashback fable of each couple unravels in an interesting black-n-white frame with a retro song to support each. The use of a radio show to narrate the flashback episodes is a unique idea but might not connect with those accustomed to conventional narrative techniques. Each flashback installment is kept crisply short.
The screenplay is intelligently innovative though at instances it even resorts to some cinematic clichés. The best example of the former being Raima Sen's para sailing sequence in a sari and for the latter it's when Raima Sen displays her martial arts antics nevertheless both the scenes keeps you in splits. The treatment is rather subtle and at times is left for the audience to apprehend like the culmination of Karan Khanna's character.
There are a couple of surprises in the climax. (And this doesn't include the identity of the biker who follows the bus from the start. That's revealed in the initial reels itself). In fact the bigger of two surprises will make your jaw drop out of disbelief. But if you don't mind cinematic liberties for fun-factor in films, it might just stretch a smile on your face out of the hilarity. However it makes you wonder why in the end, the director did not bank upon the build up made for this surprise throughout the film through the clues thrown out (this might sound gibberish while you read but you will understand this only when you watch the film). If you aren't a keen observer, the clues thrown in by the director to invoke suspense in the film, might become apparent to you only on a second viewing.
While most of the characters have put in a decent performance, Kay Kay Menon steals the show. His characterization is the strongest or perhaps he has made it so believable with his sincere act. You instantly connect with his character of a modern day man but with a conservative traditional backdrop. The actor often relegated to serious roles in films like Sarkar and Black Friday, surprises with his flair for comedy. And his now-popular dance movements in the song 'Sajnaji Vari Vari' is one of the major highlights of the film. His fight sequence with Ranvir Shorey in the bus is absolutely hilarious. How one wishes the film had more of the brilliant Ranvir. Boman Irani never goes wrong with his character, then be it any role in the world. So even as Oscar Fernandes, he perfects the accent for a Goan Christian. Raima Sen gets a meaty role and impresses both with her looks (despite being sari-clad throughout the film) and performance. Karan Khanna doesn't have much to speak but emotes well. Dia Mirza looks damn cute when she cries in the opening scene of the film. Minissha has a charming aura and indulges in an impeccable salsa with Abhay Deol. And when it comes to Shabana Azmi, the flawless actress doesn't need an approval for her act. Amisha Patel is supposed to play an irritating bimbo character and she succeeds in irritating you to the core. But don't misconstrue it for she doing justice to her character. She actually irritates and comes as the only actor miscast in the film with her constant hamming.
Overall Honeymoon Travels
is an entertaining journey. Do take the bus. Recommended!