The film is a wholesome entertainer, peppered with mature comedy, sense, and sensibility.
Borrowing it’s title from the super song of Amitabh Bachchan’s 1984 movie “Sharaabi” which had the inebriated superstar trying to woo his girlfriend, the Akiv Ali directed film, “De De Pyar De” establishes a connect with one of its principal characters, Aisha (played by Rakulpreet Singh) who loves to get sloshed and asserts ‘Hot Toh Hoon Main.’
Aisha is 26, an independent and uninhibited girl who moonlights as a bartender in London and meets the rich 50-year old Ashish (played by Ajay Devgn) through common friends when she disguises herself as a stripper during a bachelor’s party. The two hit it off well despite a big age gap, the fact that Ashish is separated since 17 years and has two grown-up kids back in India and the constant poking of his psychiatrist friend (Javed Jaffrey) that it is not love, but hawas (lust), helping the story along.
Their relationship evolves through a series of leg-pulling centered around the age-gap and contours into some practical insights on compatibility, mutual understanding, and commitment issues. That is when they decide to take their courtship to next level but Ashish must visit India with Aisha to seek approval from his family members, comprising of his ex-wife, Manju (played by Tabu) and parents (played by Alok Nath and Madhumati Kapoor).
The glossily-lensed narrative shifts from London to the scenic hill station of Manali but chaos ensues with his uninformed and untimed arrival – his daughter, Ishita is paranoid seeing him because her fiancé, Rishi’s family is visiting them and she has given the impression to Rishi that her dad is no more. And in such circumstances, Ashish doesn’t gather the courage to disclose his relationship with Ishita. Add on to it, Ashish’s son Ishan is smitten by Aisha’s deadly charms.
Peppered with generous humor and situational comedy, the plot not only handles the unconventional romance between an old man and young girl maturely but also delves into topical issues like live-ins, separation, and the generation gap. Producer Luv Ranjan, who has co-written the script with Tarun Jain and the screenplay, doesn’t shy away from his misogynist stand, as evident in his earlier films (“Pyar Ka Punchnama”, “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety”), and portrays the inherent flaws associated with his protagonists.
But the writing does hit a low with the easy and convenient solutions it offers for the complex problems of relationships. It is, however, the memorable performances of its primal cast that powers the narrative.
Ajay Devgn is convincing, given that he plays his age and displays the maturity, intellect, and the dilemma. Rakulpreet looks gorgeous and confident, standing admirably and holding her own against the veteran actors. But it is Tabu who steals the show. She imbues her character with genuine feeling and strength. Note her performance when she breaks down in distress in Ajay Devgn’s arms – it is rare and heartfelt.
The supporting ensemble is splendid – Javed Jaffrey as the psychiatrist friend of Ajay Devgn is the real hoot, getting clever one-liners and delivering them with panache. Jimmy Shergill, as the besotted lover of Tabu and Alok Nath as the perennially disgruntled father, bring in some real chuckles.
Overall, “De De Pyar De” is consistently entertaining despite the clichés and few contrived parts. The emotions are believable, if not entirely – I recommend you watch it over the weekend for some light-hearted entertainment. Going with 3 out of 5 stars.