The verdict is in: Shaandaar fails to live up to its name.
After receiving rave reviews for his directorial debut — 2014′s greatest hit Queen — Vikas Bahl’s latest offering Shandaar, missed the mark, and continues to plummet at the box office after a promising opening.
The Alia Bhatt-Shahid Kapoor starrer revolves around a destination wedding. Alia plays an orphan who is dealing with insomnia. Her adoptive father keeps on narrating fairy tales to help cure her condition but all his efforts go in vain when she meets someone special – Shahid Kapoor.
The film also marks the debut of Shahid’s sister Sanah Kapur and stars Pankaj Kapur, Sanjay Kapoor and Shushma Seth in key roles.
We bring to you excerpts of reviews from some of India’s top film critics to help you decide if you should watch Shandaar or give it a miss.
Shaandaar is quirky and fun but misses the spark of extraordinaire that Vikas Bahl displayed in Queen. For those who fell in love with the demure, unsure, hesitant Rani and in turn with Vikas Bahl — the curious observer who sharply created the relatable story of self-discovery – Shaandaar is neither that delicate, nor as nuanced and mostly never half as heartfelt. It feels too superficial and probably Bahl loses himself far too much in that glitter of Karan Johar’s world.
Fear of failure biggest motivation for Alia Bhatt
Take a blank canvas. Daub some Orphan Annie paint on it. Add a little dash of Cinderella. Come closer home and borrow from that old durable Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, and the much more recent Dum Laga Ke Haisha. And gild the whole film. What Shaandaar is trying to do is clear: reinvent beloved fairy tales with the help of winsome stars, but ends up being a blinding mix of everything with nothing of its own to boast of.
In Shaandaar, the free-wheeling qualities of a modern-day fable meet the flamboyant and filmi flights of a KJo romance. The director also throws in animated flashbacks (with a voiceover by Naseeruddin Shah) to accentuate the film’s fairy tale impulses. It has all the ingredients of a parable – an orphan princess trapped in a loveless home, a prince charming who flies in from nowhere, and a cranky old man who dotes on his daughter to the point of distraction.
It is a fun film that is infused with great charm, which in turn is enhanced by director Bahl’s panache for a light touch, an attribute that was on full show in Queen. It brings together two different worlds and succeeds in striking a balance between the two. For that, and for much else, Shaandaar deserves a hearty ovation.
Not letting go of big screen charm
The biggest let-down is the loosely-written script, credited to Bahl and Chaitally Parmar with dialogues written by Anvita Dutt Guptan. Despite having worked on last year’s breezy and winsome Queen, the trio’s work here is shockingly trite. For instance, too much screen-time (by which I mean ‘more than zero seconds’) is spent on an inane joke on the number 36. There are a few genuine chuckles here and there (such as one involving a wedding ‘pandit’ making a confession), but only after you really disengage from the silliness being depicted on screen.
Bahl throws everything he can at the screen to give the audience some sense of ‘paisa-vasool’: animated flashback sequences (which are, at best, not terribly executed), self-aware cleverness, over-choreographed and over-stylised dance numbers, and even a feminist qawwali to win over his Queen fans. But with a script as scattered as this, there’s not much that can be done.
Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor steal hearts in Shaandaar trailer
Vikas Bahl’s hopefully titled new movie is about as tidy as a jigsaw put together by an attention-deficit child: some bits fit together while others don’t, and the whole thing has patches of colour and brightness but an overall messy appearance.
The movie proceeds in a jerky and slapdash fashion, and only a few sequences hit the mark. Most of the comedy seems to be in the form of one big private joke that does not travel beyond the borders of the set. Shandaar is supposed to be a wicked, sly, irreverent and subversive stoner comedy that celebrates as well as sends up wedding movies, but like the characters who get intoxicated on a combination of actual brownies and actual mushrooms, it suffers from a literal-minded and often infantile treatment.
Twitter was no different, fans and movie-goers were just as disappointed with the film:
#Shaandaar is a FIASCO. Biz continued to dwindle, with Sat and Sun offering no respite. The film has been rejected… contd.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) October 26, 2015
Shahid kapoor said he can’t do illogical films of Anees Bazmee so what was the logic in #Shaandaar? At least ppl laugh in A. Bazmee’s films!
— Kamaal R Khan-KRK (@kamaalrkhan) October 25, 2015
Legitimate question after watching #Shaandaar is it made by the same guy who made #Queen ? Disappointed….like totally!!!
— Faridoon Shahryar (@iFaridoon) October 22, 2015
And now #Shaandaar. Sorry, but flop is the right word >_<
— Arif (@Arif_wahab_) October 25, 2015
#Shaandaar is Disaster. @shahidkapoor is FLOP Machine & @aliaa08 gave Career First FLOP !!! It collected Just 19 cr in Just 2 Days.
— Kiaara Sandhu (@KiaaraSandhu) October 24, 2015
One more flop to shahid bag #Shaandaar
— رافي ᖇᗩᖴI ΔHMΣD (@Rafee_real) October 23, 2015
Has Shaandaar become synonymous with the word flop?
Such bad reviews about #Shaandaar Everyone’s advising not to watch! ‘Flop’ as they say.. Unexpected though!
— Srishti Mathur (@SrishtiM) October 23, 2015
Saw #Shaandaar My reliable source was wrong..it does not work..WoM is not at all good..I correct my estimation 40-50cr Lifetime..Flop..
— Vishek Chauhan (@VishekC) October 23, 2015
#Shaandaar super flop, @karanjohar should shut his company after wasting public money
— Entrepreneur Art (@nitinvy) October 22, 2015
Plz don’t watch the movie even if someone is paying u!! Makers should get kaala paani punishment for this #shaandaar flop
— khushbubaid93 (@khushbubaid93) October 22, 2015
#Shaandaar would be another #SinghIsBliing huge expectation result would be same :::flop
— pankaj dev (@pankajdevshali) October 22, 2015
Who believe that queen director makes a movie #shaandaar: super flop dissapointed.alia shahid look great but d film is far frm fabulous,!!!!
— Swaroop (@swaroop_cbu) October 22, 2015