New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: 14 Phere, starring Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda in lead roles, started streaming on zee5 on Friday, July 23. The film is an uncommon mix of precise comic timings, wonderfully relatable desi sarcasm, catchy dialogues and a fine display of acting talent that seems to have emerged straight out of Delhi’s theatre circuit. The film entertains, tickles your funny bones while attempting to comically reflect the nitty-gritties of inter-caste marriages in North India.

The film’s comical premise, as was shown in the trailer, is based around an inter-caste couple (Vikrant Massey and Kriti Kharbanda) uniquely choosing to travel the path of dual marriage in order to make their respective families believe the unfactual truth that the person they love is from the same caste and thus they both could be married up despite their conservative backgrounds. This turns out to be a comical rollercoaster as the reel and real collide with the reality of a not much accepted marriageable match in conservative households, that too the ones with baahubal (rowdiness).

Delhi’s theatre circuit is one of the vehicles of the film’s plot which drives it further into the hinterland that resists inter-caste marriages. Give it to the limitations created by shooting a film during pandemic or something else, the film misses the opportunity to reflect the outdoor diversity of Delhi’s theatre culture which could have added to the comic subtlety of the plot. Yet, it’s a bus whose absence from the road of this film doesn’t affect the quality of its unique comical highway where one smoothly runs the vehicle of entertainment throughout the close to two-hour duration of the film.

Vikrant Massey as Sanjay is a sight to behold in the film whose navigation through love, weddings, fluid family dynamics, complemented with quintessential love for his mother are thoroughly enjoyable as a display of an optimal entertainment quotient. This is Massey’s second OTT release in less than a month (after Vinil Matthew’s 'Haseen Dillruba', streaming on Netflix). The sheer ease with which the actor perpetuates a similar level of passion for vastly different characters is worth a note. In ‘14 phere’, in spite of comical settings of the scenes, Vikrant as Sanjay is able to contribute seriousness into the plot of the film while not being unfunny. That’s precisely the hallmark of an excellent performance.

Kriti Kharbanda as Aditi gives fluid expressions and makes her character believable, credit some fine screenplay writing. Kriti and Vikrant switch the driving seats in the film as and when required. Just like their characters, the actors also complement each other in a way that one of them seems incomplete without the other. There is no if or but that whether Aditi and Sanjay will remain together. It’s how that remains the question. Aditi raises her hand and Sanjay answers the question like a straight-A student.

The scenes with Gauahar Khan as Zubina aka Delhi’s Meryl Streep are entertainingly funny and woefully accurate. As one of the symbols of the theatre circuit, credit director Devanshu Singh, Khan puts up a triad of acts and pulls each one of them distictively well, displaying a brand of versatility not seen recently in the Hindi comedy films.

It’s never easy to make a comedy film believable due to its logical fallacies. Yet director Devanshu Singh, with a bunch of excellent actors, a long shelf life Rekha Bhardwaj-track and some comically precise dialogues, pulls off a thoughtful comedy which is unbelievably entertaining.

14 Phere, directed by Devanshu Singh, is streaming on zee5.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma