Cast: Irrfan Khan, Parvathy
Director: Tanuja Chandra
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Two mismatched travelers get together to make for a breezy weekend watch’

Jaya Sashitharan (Parvathy) is a single, workaholic 34 yr old, who spends her free time babysitting for her friends or helping them plan their kitty parties. Going against her grain – which is a tad traditional and prudish – she registers on an online dating site albeit using her dead husband’s name as the password!

After encountering a few creeps online, she settles to meet up with Yogi – a 40 yr old man, who sounds the most sane & normal among the lot. Enter Irrfan Khan as Yogi with his nineteen to a dozen, not so posh one-liners. And Jaya realizes they are a mismatch from the word go.

But they inadvertently end up spending time together talking of their past relationships and ex lovers. Tired of her mundane work – home – babysitting for friends – life, Jaya uncharacteristically agrees to take off on a trip with Yogi to meet the three ex loves of his life who he can’t stop talking about.

So, how does this journey from Rishikesh to Gangtok via Rajasthan pan out for two diametrically different individuals who seem mildly attracted to each other at the start of the trip but have their internal journeys and flawed selves to work out first?

Well, given Irrfan Khan’s effortless charm and acting chops, it is definitely a fun ride for much of the run time. The actor has his way with humor – his straight-faced dialogue delivery coupled with his perfect comic timing is a treat to watch. He blends in with such ease into his character that one can’t help but think that no other actor would have been able to pull the role off with as much punch.

Irrfan’s Yogi is laidback and loud as opposed to Parvathy’s Jaya – reticent and full of angst.

Parvathy as Jaya is a welcome break from the usually perfectly manicured and blow-dried heroines onscreen. Nails clipped short, hair not always in place, a pair of specs covering most of her face and sometimes even frumpy when she’s on her own in her room – it’s refreshing to see someone so comfortable in her skin. And needless to add, her acting mettle lifts the proceedings.

Though it’s Irrfan who carries much of the humor on his shoulders in this rom-com, the fun banter and comedy of errors that unfold between the two really work to make it an entertaining watch while it lasts.

Of course, there are quibbles – one really doesn’t know much about Irfan’s character – there’s not much of a back-story there. Also, the reason for both of them to take off on a trip together after having just met is quite feeble. And, portions in the second half tend to lag a bit.

But given that the characters make themselves so endearing you do hope that they end up together at the end of it all.

Add to that, the picturesque locales, train journeys, a road trip blended in to bring out the essence of the journey and the chilled out vibe, director Tanuja Chandra’s Qarib Qarib Singlle will definitely make for your breezy weekend watch!


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