Review: Meri Pyari Bindu

(Writer’s note: There are some spoilers ahead)

What happens when one falls in love with a concept person? To begin with, who is a concept person? Someone who is as perfect as your imagination gets. Bindu is a concept woman for Abhimanyu. Meri Pyari Bindu is about Abhimanyu realizing that his concept woman, just like other human beings, is complex. And yet acknowledging that there is no escape from his concept love other than embracing both, his love and her complexities.

Abhimanyu Roy, played by Ayushmaan Khurrana, is smitten when he sees Bindu, played by Parineeti Chopra, sitting on top of boxes with her headphones. Next door neighbours, Abhi and Bindu grow up to become the best of friends. Bindu is a flamboyant girl, just like her mother who she loves dearly. Bindu is that whacky girl in college who is smart, sensuous and aims to become a singer – someone so remarkably perfect, she could almost be in love with herself. She puts herself and her happiness first, even if that means leaving behind everything to get over and avenge her alcoholic father for killing her mother in a car accident, breaking off two potential marriages, and finally leaving behind a heartbroken Abhi to cope up with her failing music career.

And Abhi. He is simply mesmerized by the concept of Bindu that he ignores all the signs of her volatile flamboyance, which he admits to much later in life.

Abhi is so passionately obsessed with Bindu that he does whatever it takes to be with Bindu, to love her and to make her happy, even if it means being an asshole to his live-in girlfriend, Maulshree. For Bindu, Abhi is a safe haven, as she describes him.

Abhi begins writing a book describing his concept woman and the fervent love he has for her, despite her breaking up with him. He concludes the manuscript with a happy ending where he kisses Bindu only to realize that in reality, Bindu is married to a Nair and finds her passion in motherhood. Her long hair, bindi, jhumkas and a beautiful sari is a reminder of her mother’s influence on Bindu, from whom she learns that life is like an ice-cream and that she should enjoy and cherish, even if it means making hard decisions and leaving behind a trail of heartbreaks. Abhi finally gets a closure when he realizes how beautiful his concept love is and embraces her complexities that he just cannot keep aside.

This is one of a kind Bollywood movies where the female protagonist takes her desires most seriously and not give in to patriarchy. This is one of those movies which realizes that humans are complicated beings and you simply cannot box a love into conventional marriages. While the idea of love portrayed in the movie is fresh, it lacks proper execution. A lot of scenes in the movie seem to be there simply to add a masala element rather than to unfold characters. And for this reason, a lot of questions in the movie remain unanswered. That Bindu left a loving relationship with Abhi because a failing music career devastates her, and yet nothing is shown of what happens about her desire to become a rockstar later on in her life, despite music being central to their love story.

Khurrana plays the hopeless romantic very well. His love knows no bounds. His frustration about Bindu moving on each time is subtle. His heartbreak is enormous, but he deals with it by writing about her and smoking while his dog, Devdas, rescued by Bindu, accompanies him. His Bengali accent is poorer than that of a Probashi. But Khurana’s parents are so Bengali that it is hard to understand this dichotomy in theirs and Abhi’s Bengali-ness. While Bindu’s character at some points seem poorly etched, as I have tried to explain above, she has pulled it off with much ease. I didn’t find anything extraordinary in her performance, like that in Hasee Toh Phasee, but she isn’t disappointing and is pretty entertaining at several points.

The music blends in fairly well except for Yeh Jawani Teri which seems to shove the spirit of Bappi da’s music down your throat. Hareya, Afeemi and Maana Ke Hum are feel good songs which go well with the storyline.

Meri Pyari Bindu with all its good intention of being a movie about passionate lost-love loses attention with some drab moments in the first half. The second half is much better with Bindu’s vulnerabilities being finally shown but not satisfactorily concluded. It is a movie coming right out of someone’s mind who has had a passionate concept love affair. Do watch it if you have an appetite for such an idea of love.