De De Pyaar De Movie Review: Tabu Towers Over Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet in This Unusual Romcom
De De Pyaar De Movie Review (Photo Credits: T-Series)

In Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, there is a scene where Kajol's character, after a night of drunken revelry, wakes up the next morning with no memory of the night's events. She behaves shocked when Shah Rukh Khan's character makes her think that they slept together, and starts crying. Circa 2019. In De De Pyaar De, Ayesha (Rakul Preet) wakes up the morning after a party at Ashish's (Ajay Devgn) house and thinks she slept with him. She behaves as if she is quite cool with that and is actually surprised that he didn't take advantage of her drunken state.

That one scene shows how De De Pyaar De wants to be "in" with the times, and yet doesn't grasp with the reality of what's happening around. A casual relationship cannot be established by making a girl suggest that a guy should have taken advantage of her drunken state, because 'he has no chance with her when she is sober'. But then, the film also has Alok Nath, so this scene somewhat makes sense.  Ajay Devgn Responds To Tanushree Dutta's Question On Alok Nath's Inclusion In 'De De Pyaar De' Read The Detailed Statement Here!

Debutant Akiv Ali handles some very mature themes - from age-inappropriate romance to live-in relationships to casual sex - in his first film. The kind of romantic triangle we get to see here is an unusual take on relationships, rarely explored in mainstream Bollywood. It is the treatment of this relationship angle that needed better polish. De De Pyaar De: Is Ajay Devgn the King of Comedy? Here’s How His Last 10 Comic Movies Performed at the Box Office!

Ashish, a 50-year old high-profile investor in London, is enamoured with the sprightly 26-yo Ayesha. After the many jokes on Ashish's age and the generation gap (as his psychologist friend puts his gyaan on their equation), they hook up and start living together. When things become serious, Ashish decides to let Ayesha meet his estranged family back in India, which includes an ex-wife from whom he has been separated for 18 years.

When she arrives in Manali with him, Ayesha finds both Ashish's kids to be of her age, and his ex-wife Manju (Tabu) doesn't take too kindly of her presence.

The first half of De De Pyaar De is more about establishing the romance between 'rich, old' Ashish and the 'too hot to trot' Ayesha. There are some good moments, mostly due to really fine chemistry being established between Ajay and Rakul.

There will be certain complaints that the movie takes too much of time in setting the romance, since the actual premise arrives near interval. The setup was needed so that the final moments of the film makes sense.

However, there is no denying that the love story feels stretched and at times, exasperating. It's more to do with De De Pyaar De's depiction of Ayesha as this blabbering girl who loves to get attention. The movie wants to make us see her the same way that someone of Ashish's age would have perceived, and I am not sure why that was needed. To add to our annoyance, the movie introduces another irritatingly shrieky character in Ashish's daughter, and suddenly, Ayesha feels like an angel.

The second half that brings the romcom to Kulu-Manali and involves Ashish's family has more meat in its proceedings. We expect the movie to focus on how they react to the patriarch's equation with his young paramour. De De Pyaar De Box Office Prediction: Will Ajay Devgn's Rom-Com Beat Total Dhamaal To Become His Biggest Opener of 2019?

Instead, the focus is more on the estrangement he has with them, especially his daughter. Which, to be honest, feels less exciting and drags things out. It is only when De De Pyaar De brings the spotlight purely on Manju, Ashish and Ayesha that the movie feels interesting. It is another thing that the women here are competing for a man who can't figure out anything for himself. Ashish's son infatuating over Ayesha has its moments too.

A big flaw with De De Pyaar De is the humour itself. Some jokes work, most don't. The sequences involving Jaaved Jaaferi and Jimmy Sheirgill's characters needed more zing, despite the best efforts of the actors. Some throwbacks gags involving Singham and Vijaypath feel as fodder to appease Devgn's fans rather than being an actually funny joke. So, on one hand, De De Pyaar De discusses adult relationships; on the other hand, it also relies on sub-standard jokes designed to appeal to the front-benchers. Of course, this unholy alliance can be expected when the movie is written by Pyaar Ka Punchnama fame Luv Ranjan (along with Tarun Jain and Surabhi Bhatnagar).

The best portions of De De Pyaar De are, surprisingly, when it turns serious in the final act. Manju's outburst with her family, and later her private moment with Ashish are wonderfully depicted. They feel like they belong to a different film aesthetically. Or perhaps, it has more to do with this wonderful actress called Tabu. We also have a scene where the characters discuss infidelity as if it is nothing to bothered about. It is a very surprising move in a movie belonging to an industry that worships marriages on a pedestal. Remember Ajay Devgn himself was the part of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, where a married woman chooses to be with her husband, whom she barely loved, rather than the lover whom she yearned for. So De De Pyaar De taking such a radical risk is definitely bold. But again, the faulty writing takes away a lot of the impact.

The music is just about decent with 'Tu Mila To Haina' and 'Chale Aana' feeling somewhat passable. Sudhir K Chaudhary beautifully photographs both the plush locales of London and the quaint environs of Manali.

The Performances

Though he has been doing well in comedy movies these days, Ajay Devgn's poker-faced act feels very-one note in De De Pyaar De. There are a couple of scenes where he gets to sparkle, but mostly Ajay's performance feels dull and tired. Rakul Preet is suitably cast as the vivacious Ayesha, with enough oomph appeal, and she delivers a fine act.

But the show belongs to Tabu, no doubt that. Even when the writing lets any scene down, Tabu towers over it with a fantastic performance, as both the jealous ex-wife and an intelligent single mother.

As for the supporting cast, Alok Nath's portions will make you cringe despite yourself and it has nothing to do with his role. Jimmy Sheirgill repeats his Happy Bhag Jaayegi act once again. Jaaved Jaaferi is funny, but his role feels unnecessary. Kumud Mishra is alright. Bhavik Bhanushali who plays Ashish's son is natural, but Inayat Sood who plays the daughter is annoying. Sunny Singh, in a cameo, is absolutely hilarious.

Yay!

- Tabu

- The Mature Love Triangle

- A Couple of Funny Moments

- The Portion Before the Conclusion

Nay!

- Editing (Akiv Ali was an editor before, so this was unexpected)

- The Humour Works Only in Parts

- Jimmy Sheirgill and Jaaved Jaaferi Deserve Better Jokes

- Alok Nath

Final Thoughts

De De Pyaar De is not just about age-inappropriate romance, but also delves into adult relationships that most other Bollywood movies don't discuss. Tabu is terrific, and the final act is really good. But the writing, more than often, lets the film down and at times it's stretched and misogynistic too (even if it claims to be otherwise). In trying to look both mature and gallery-pleasing funny, De De Pyaar De ends up impressing you only in parts.

Rating:2.5out of 5