Cast: Saqib Saleem, Saba Azad, Nishant Dahiya, Tara D'Souza
Director: Nupur Ashtana
'Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge' is a terrible title for a film that's not so bad. Set on a swanky campus (although we never once see students in class or poring over books), this rom-com is funny, and corny even, but thankfully never makes the mistake of turning sappy or sentimental. Director Nupur Asthana shrewdly taps into the youth's obsession with online interaction, and creates a premise around the freedom and anonymity that the Internet offers.
Vishal has the hots for Malvika, but he doesn't have the confidence to tell her. He goes online, pretends to be his cool musician buddy Rahul on Facebook, and strikes up a friendship with Malvika. Preity, who thinks Rahul is cute, hides behind the identity of her friend Malvika on Facebook, and responds to Vishal's overtures, thinking she's befriended Rahul. As it turns out, in the real world, Vishal and Preity can't stand the sight of each other.
The plot isn't particularly original or inventive, but the film moves briskly, and has a consistent tone. It's centered on a bunch of silly twentysomething-year-olds, and the good thing is they behave and talk like silly twentysomething-year-olds. At one point, Vishal asks Preity if she has a boyfriend, to which she replies in the negative. "Lesbian?" he enquires mischievously.
The film works because it gets what it's like to be young and carefree, and because the director doesn't manipulate us with unnecessary emotional BS. Characters recover from heartbreak and betrayal without too much of a fuss, and even a Gossip Girl-style MMS scandal blows over pretty quickly.
There's a cheesy subplot in which our leads must interview and photograph married couples who reminisce about the early days of their romance; mercifully these portions are brief. The film has a peppy score by Raghu Dixit, but most of the songs feel interchangeable because the situations are repetitive. Of the cast, Saqib Saleem grabs your attention with his feisty performance as the quick-witted Vishal, and Saba Azad has a likeable presence as Preity. They carry the film's smart lines without any hiccups.
I'm going with three out of five for director Nupur Asthana's Mujhse Fraaandhship Karoge. Like the demographic it represents, the film makes for good company, and isn't meant to be taken too seriously. An enjoyable one-time watch.
Rating: 3 / 5
Yogesh Kumar, Hyderabad
Rajesh Kumar Sarangi, Bhubaneswar
Piyush Bhageria, Kolhapur
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