Namaste England: Mindless Entertainment Made Worse By An Unimaginative Execution
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Namaste England is a romantic comedy starring Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra in lead roles. Remember Namaste London? That film too was directed by Vipul. Does Namaste England have only the director in common with the aforementioned film? Unfortunately no. Both films have the same story, same comedy, same melodrama, and some non-existing IQ or even EQ for that matter. The only difference is, at least Namaste London was sub-par entertainment, but Namaste London is a fluff piece with nothing logical to say. Good actors, good technicians, and good locations are wasted on a film that is as silly as this one.
Hailing from a conservative family in Punjab, Jasmeet’s (Parineeti Chopra) gets accustomed to putting her dreams on the back-burner. Her grandfather takes pride in patriarchy. He sternly believes that a woman’s place truly belongs in the kitchen. So, when Jasmeet falls in love with Param (Arjun Kapoor), she seeks an escape from this inconsequential and mundane life. Soon, both of them get married and Param promises to never stand in the way of her dreams. The first dream Jasmeet is desperate to attain is a citizenship in London. Param jumps on board her ambitions too. But the process of immigrating to another country presents them with problems, hurdles and reality checks aplenty. How far the two of them go in this adventure and the realizations they meet with, in the process forms the crux of the film.
Param and Jasmeet’s relationship is set-up at warp speed. Their meet-cute is not only predictable but also quite flat. This relationship is then taken to the next level through an obnoxious song that is as unimaginative as can be. The only reason Jasmeet volunteers to marry Param is that he will not stand in between her dreams. You know this, the makers know this, even screaming children in the theatre know this for a fact. But Param, being his pea-brained self never realizes this. This by itself makes for quite a silly beginning.
The biggest irony in the film is that Jasmeet wants to move away from her oppressive family but the manner in which the story is treated is regressive by itself. So, you wonder what point the director is really trying to make? He wants you to be modern and yet delivers false notions on contemporary living and delivers criticism on patriarchy when the film by itself is bombarded with regressive principles from beginning to end.
The film also holds wrong and cliched perceptions of patriotism. It has Arjun Kapoor delivering a speech on patriotism to an NRI lady, that not only is the least interesting aspect of the film but is also offensive on so many levels.
The makers of Namaste England set out ambitiously to make strong statements on illegal immigration and many such crucial issues but sadly, all this gets lost in the mind-games the lead characters play with each other and the jealousy that leads them to take a stupid decision. So, the screenplay never even manages to scratch the surface of the said issues as it happily backtracks it for disappointing Bollywood cliches.
As Param, Arjun Kapoor appears disinterested throughout the film. One can’t really blame him though, taking into consideration, his bland and flavorless character development. He is portrayed to be a pea-brained man who would cross any lines for love while also delivering patriotic dialogues. It is safe to say that you would prefer Akshay Kumar’s one-dimensional performance in Namaste London over Kapoor’s expressionless portrayal. As Jasmeet, Parineeti Chopra delivers a performance that is completely overdone. Her character is so unlikeable and manipulative that you almost miss Chopra’s awkward nuances in the film. Her expressions are especially off-beat.
The technicalities of Namaste England are passable. But the cinematography is barely solid enough to capture the charm of Punjab or England. Both these vibrant towns appear uninviting in the film.
Prasad Shashte’s background score isn’t the worst aspect of the film but it doesn’t do much to elevate this mindless plot. Together, Mannan Shaah, Badshah and Rishi Rich deliver soundtracks that are as forgettable as the film’s execution.
On the whole, Namaste London will seem tedious to you even if you do leave your brains at home. It’s unimaginative and regressive approach is one you could do without.