Is it not ironic that Bollywood which was once famous for making only romantic movies hardly make good films in this category now. Come to think of the perfectly done romantic comedies in 2000s, you can actually count them on fingertips - Kaho na Pyaar Hain (2000), Hum tum (2004), Jab we Met (2007). Even if you are a little generous by ignoring certain flaws, you may add Sathiya (2002), Chalte Chalte (2003) and Love Aaj Kal (2009) to this list. Point is, why romance has almost vanished from our films and most importanly, why films like Band Baaja Baarat (2010) came as a breath of fresh air in this era of mindless potboilers where screaming at the top of the lungs is considered to be the best entertainment (Akshay Kumar, are you listening?).
There is so much to adore in BBB. To start with, the main lead does not come with stereotypes.... So Shruti Kakkar (played by Anushka Sharma) wants to be the best wedding planner in India while Bittu Sharma (played by Ranveer Singh) is so scared of working at his dad's sugarcane farms in Saharanpur that he tags along, albeit with an iota of infatuation for her. She wants to carve out her professional niche before settling in with the personal goals of husband,family, kids, card etc. They choose the best setting in the old-world-middle-class homes of west Delhi to start their 'binness', with an eye to upgrading on Sainik Farms weddings. Even the bit players - the flower caretaker, the surd caterer, the dude DJ, the bulky ladies-style sitting dad...everyone fit in like a glove.
What fascinated me most about BBB is how subtly, at a micro level it makes a point about business partners sleeping with each other in this fast paced corporate world. On one hand, the lead pair's life is kindled by the spirit of entrepreneurship and still that same passion is exploited to break the first rule they set in - never mix business with pleasure. Their closeness in the relationship is not dictated by over flowing romantic hormones but with an increasing companionship during the working hours. You can't help thinking them to fall for someone else, because they complement each other so perfectly, at work mind you.
Watch out for the scene after the intermission when they wake up after the overnight kaand in each other's arms. There is an awkward fumbling of words, change of language from "tu" to "tum", an eerie silence in which both of them waiting for each other to say something. They sit together on the bike and move away from the Shaadi Mubarak office. It seems such a mundane, almost unnecessary scene as they take the round about the Hari nagar Ghantagar, move down the District Centre flyover to Shruti's home at 1/106, Janakapuri West. But look closely and you will realise it is actually the most important scene in the screenplay. They are drawn together by the passion and spirit of their work, but moving away by the fare of breaking the business rule they have set before starting off. They love each other but don't know what to do with it. There is a sense of belonging for each other, but no sense of blurting it out to each other. He is getting wary, she is getting vulnerable. And they both can't avoid the inevitable of falling for each other.
The film is not short of flaws - the second half is too long for me. The bickering and constant flights after the fall out in the business goes on and on. Even the item song in the final marriage almost seems forced. At this point it become threadbare and predictable. But take nothing away from the refreshness of the movie. It is a kind of romantic comedy we are slowly forgetting to make. This one is done correctly, deliberating avoiding stereotypes and most importantly, with lot of warmth, courage and love.