x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects

Every joke seems effortless, every quarrel believable and it’s only their spark-ling chemistry that saves this film from becoming another unrealistic, happy-ever-after Bollywood flick.

Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan in Shaadi ke Side Effects. Courtesy  Balaji Motion Pictures
Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan in Shaadi ke Side Effects. Courtesy Balaji Motion Pictures

Shaadi Ke Side Effects

Director: Saket Chaudhary

Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan

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A baby changes everything. And it gets worse when your wife, for whom motherhood has brought with it inexplicable parenting wisdom, makes you feel totally useless around your newborn daughter.

What do you do, then? You lead a double life, of course. You rent a room on the other side of town, hide there for a couple of days every fortnight, and lie to your wife about being hard at work while she soldiers on with the daily grind and a new baby to boot.

Shaadi Ke Side Effects (The Side Effects of Marriage) borrows this premise from John O’Farrell’s 1997 novel The Best a Man Can Get, about a young dad who is too chicken to tell his wife how he truly feels: he doubts he would make a good father; he hates that his once fun-loving wife has become a distracted, baby-obsessed stranger; and he finds their new nappy-festooned domesticity mind-numbingly dull.

Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan star as Sid and Trisha, whose marriage is slowly disintegrating under the weight of sleep deprivation, unaired grievances and mounting deceit. The story is all about the immature Sid, though, and doesn’t once dwell on what Trisha – coping with weight gain, exhaustion, mood swings and an absent husband – is going through. Despite the lopsided script, the two actors are in fine form, playing off each other beautifully and keeping the audience interested, even during the slowly paced second half. Every joke seems effortless, every quarrel believable and it’s only their spark-ling chemistry that saves this film from becoming another unrealistic, happy-ever-after Bollywood flick.

•Shaadi Ke Side Effects is out in UAE cinemas now

* Christine Iyer