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‘Plan A Plan B’ movie review: A lousy film that barely makes it worth watching

Express News Service

There are films that demand your attention throughout their runtime, and then there are ones that can keep you engaged in parts. But Netflix’s recent feature Plan A Plan B (PAPB) does not fall under either of the categories. Neither does this intended romantic comedy have any soul to carry, nor is it a film that employs effective storytelling methods to keep you invested. 

PAPB is about an OCD-struck divorce lawyer Kaustubh Chougule (Riteish Deshmukh) who seems successful in his career. He shares his office next to Nirali Vora (Tamannaah Bhatia), someone who is reeling from heartbreak and has taken over her mother’s matrimony business, Unique Matchmaking.

While, Kaustubh, aka Kosty, argues to the family court magistrate to grant a divorce to a north-south Indian couple on abysmal grounds that they are “opposites” (some comparisons like one being ghee and other coconut oil, sari-salwar, Bhangra-Bharatnatyam, so on), Nirali has inherited the business from her mother who is so attached to her job that she even bids adieu to her last bride client.

As Nirali assumes office next to Kosty, one expects a meet-cute situation right? Well, what the audience is put through is lousy writing that is ineffectively abled by depth-lacking characters.

PAPB chooses to explore the everyday lives of Nirali and Kosty by staging poles opposite clientele. Perhaps, through this, the audiences have to understand that the lead pair is meeting cutely daily. The film does not have any high points, nor does it justify the professions of Kosty and Nirali. The story would have been the same even if we removed their professional background and made it about the two individuals with polarising tastes.

There is a brief appearance of Kosty’s wife Runjhun (Bidita Bag), who surprisingly calls him a “romantic” but is after him for divorce. Kosty refuses to give in as a way of wielding the power of leaving her running after him. There is an instance where Kosty learns about Nirali’s painful past that she’s coping with ice cream.

The film tries to string instances like this together to make us prepared to witness sudden bouts of attraction between the characters. But it falls flat on the viewers to root for their romance. We never get to understand, feel, or see why they fall for each other.

The lacklustre treatment of the characters and staging of their emotions are insufficient for the audience to understand where this story is going. Tamannaah and Riteish try to save PAPB with their nonchalant presence, but even that does not save these poorly written, flat protagonists.

The film also leaves you pondering what it wants to discuss. Can love happen after heartbreak? Do opposites attract? But, the most important question the film leaves you with is, does it have its heart in the right place?

Plan A Plan B
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Tamannaah Bhatia, Bidita Bag, Kusha Kapila, Poonam Dhillon 
Writer: Rajat Arora 
Director: Shashanka Ghosh
Streaming on: Netflix
Rating: 1.5/5

There are films that demand your attention throughout their runtime, and then there are ones that can keep you engaged in parts. But Netflix’s recent feature Plan A Plan B (PAPB) does not fall under either of the categories. Neither does this intended romantic comedy have any soul to carry, nor is it a film that employs effective storytelling methods to keep you invested. 

PAPB is about an OCD-struck divorce lawyer Kaustubh Chougule (Riteish Deshmukh) who seems successful in his career. He shares his office next to Nirali Vora (Tamannaah Bhatia), someone who is reeling from heartbreak and has taken over her mother’s matrimony business, Unique Matchmaking.

While, Kaustubh, aka Kosty, argues to the family court magistrate to grant a divorce to a north-south Indian couple on abysmal grounds that they are “opposites” (some comparisons like one being ghee and other coconut oil, sari-salwar, Bhangra-Bharatnatyam, so on), Nirali has inherited the business from her mother who is so attached to her job that she even bids adieu to her last bride client.

As Nirali assumes office next to Kosty, one expects a meet-cute situation right? Well, what the audience is put through is lousy writing that is ineffectively abled by depth-lacking characters.

PAPB chooses to explore the everyday lives of Nirali and Kosty by staging poles opposite clientele. Perhaps, through this, the audiences have to understand that the lead pair is meeting cutely daily. The film does not have any high points, nor does it justify the professions of Kosty and Nirali. The story would have been the same even if we removed their professional background and made it about the two individuals with polarising tastes.

There is a brief appearance of Kosty’s wife Runjhun (Bidita Bag), who surprisingly calls him a “romantic” but is after him for divorce. Kosty refuses to give in as a way of wielding the power of leaving her running after him. There is an instance where Kosty learns about Nirali’s painful past that she’s coping with ice cream.

The film tries to string instances like this together to make us prepared to witness sudden bouts of attraction between the characters. But it falls flat on the viewers to root for their romance. We never get to understand, feel, or see why they fall for each other.

The lacklustre treatment of the characters and staging of their emotions are insufficient for the audience to understand where this story is going. Tamannaah and Riteish try to save PAPB with their nonchalant presence, but even that does not save these poorly written, flat protagonists.

The film also leaves you pondering what it wants to discuss. Can love happen after heartbreak? Do opposites attract? But, the most important question the film leaves you with is, does it have its heart in the right place?

Plan A Plan B
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Tamannaah Bhatia, Bidita Bag, Kusha Kapila, Poonam Dhillon 
Writer: Rajat Arora 
Director: Shashanka Ghosh
Streaming on: Netflix
Rating: 1.5/5



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