Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar
Duration: 02 Hrs 05 Mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Writer: Dibakar Banerjee
Producers: Dibakar Banerjee, Aditya Chopra, Sumit Gyanchandaney, Smriti Jain, Nitin Minz, Gaurav Mishra, Mritunjoy Dev Nath, Ravi Sarin
Music: Narendra Chandra, Anu Malik
Cinematography: Nikos Andritsakis, Anil Mehta
Editing: Bakul Matiyani, Paramita Ghosh
Production Company: DBP
Release Date: 19 March 2021 (India)
Released: In Theatres
Star Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Mritunjoy Dev Nath, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat, Tarun Gahlot, Bhupesh Pandya, Jaipreet Singh, Jared Savaille, Ammar Taalwala
Plot: ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ is the story of Pinkesh ‘Pinky’ Dahiya, a Haryanavi police officer, and Sandeep Kaur, someone from the corporate world.
Pinkesh played by Arjun Kapoor is a desperate Haryanvi constable who takes on a job to revoke the year-long suspension handed down by his boss, while Sandeep Kaur played by Parineeti Chopra is an educated economic gold medallist with questionable taste in men and work ethics. Her fancy clothes, fancier designer bags, manicured nails, and scarlet lips are in sharp contrast to Pinky’s scruffy and grumpy persona.
Is their story connected to each other, or are they two different people with different stories? How these two, who belong to different worlds are forced to flee together to save their skin, forms the story.
Review: Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ happens to be Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra’s third film together after Ishaqzaade (2012) and Namaste England (2018). This film is a deft take on class warfare and social inequities. Undoubtedly, these are good elements for a film that is projected as a suspenseful dark comedy, but this one only shows glimpses of it, in spurts, as the director has rushed things to make you see this bleak world through Sandeep and Pinky’s eyes.
Dibakar Banerjee's films always very accurately adapt to the local mannerism of the place where the story is set. If he showed Delhi's brashness in 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', in 'Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar' he highlights the gullibility and warm heart of hilly towns like Pithoragarh. However, it is sad to see a story with such a vast potential backed by a talented bunch of people with some solid performances going down in vain, due to an extremely scattered story, which touches and leaves many vital points underdeveloped, despite clocking a little over two hours.
The opening scene would immediately grab your attention and the intrigue that writer-director Dibaker Banerjee builds through the first half, would make you sit up and take notice. Here, we are only given flashes of how, what, and why, a very discreet Sandeep aka Sandy is being chased by her boss and Pinkesh aka Pinky is reluctantly trying to save her. But as the film’s second act rolls, the not-so-shocking suspense is revealed, and we are then left with repetitive and excruciatingly slow exchanges between the characters.
While Parineeti Chopra’s character has a better back story, Arjun Kapoor’s lowly and expendable existence would have benefited from more depth.
The film had the potential to be a resounding slap on patriarchy and privilege but loses its steam midway when the story begins getting complicated. The story may be well-intended, but it falters at the execution level as the pace of ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ is languid and it takes time for a viewer to piece the story together. At two hours' run time, the film appears to stretch, and there are plot points that do not make sense and scenes which are unnecessarily long.
Performance-wise, Parineeti Chopra is compelling. She gets the multi-layered character, who is strong yet vulnerable and insecure. With effortless ease, she gives it all to make Sandy’s intricate and hard-to-read persona likable, and her performance is one of the few factors that hold the film’s uneven narrative together.
Even Arjun Kapoor holds his ground as a highly unlikeable violence-prone cop. His bottled-up rage and angst at the unfair world at large and fierce women like Parineeti Chopra, in particular, is well captured. Though the two leads belong to two different, disparate worlds, their unlikely kinship doesn’t feel staged.
Among the character actors, Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav are endearing and effortless in portraying the millions of Indian couples for whom patriarchy is a way of life. Jaideep Ahlawat’s act as the scheming top cop has nothing noteworthy. From bracelets to ‘bhai jaise biceps chahiye’, there are so many Salman Khan references that they have styled Jaideep Ahlawat with.
There is just one song, a loud and unmelodious title track by Anu Malik. Even the film’s melancholic and surreal background score is let down by the overall lack of substance in its narrative.
Overall, from a maker like Dibakar Banerjee who has delivered memorable films in the past, this is not his best.
Sandeep and Pinky Faraar’ is one of those neo-noir films that set out with a promise to engage, entertain and educate, but with its preposterous execution and frustratingly slow pace, it is the audience who might want to escape, much before Sandeep and Pinky!