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Namaste England Review

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Direction: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Producers: Pen India Limited , Reliance Entertainment , Blockbuster Movie Entertainers , Namastey Production Ltd.

Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Seal, Alankrita Sahai

MOVIE REVIEW : NAMASTE ENGLAND

Times Of India:

Movie Review: Namaste England

Param (Arjun Kapoor) and Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) fall in love and they get married. Their perfect romance gets disturbed by Jasmeet’s suppressed ambition however. She has dreams of going to London so that she can pursue her career and build a better life for herself. But Param isn’t able to get a visa and that creates some high drama in their love life.

Love makes you do strange things and sometimes the unconventional too. But, getting embroiled in illegal immigration for the sake of your love, does seem a bit far-fetched. ‘Namaste England’ is the story of a happily married couple who get caught up in a strange adventure. They want to relocate to London, leaving behind a comfy life in Punjab, just because the wife, Jasmeet, isn’t allowed to have a career. The seemingly progressive couple, take some bizarre decisions in life, ones that actually take their relationship to a breaking point. The story does have an underlying message, but the lackluster writing and direction aren’t able to explore the true potential of the film.

‘Namaste England’, begins as a run-of-the-mill love story, where boy meets girl, they fall in love and quickly get married. But, the problem arises when Jasmeet (Parineeti) wishes to be a jewellery designer and Param (Arjun) can’t help her out even though he wants to. He and his father have been sworn by Jasmeet’s granddad to not let her work. Even if you do come to terms with the regressive values of the characters, the ho-hum screenplay makes ‘Namaste England’ a lot tougher to sit through. The long-drawn first half of the film just doesn’t get moving. The interval brings an unexpected twist, but then the second half dives into over-the-top comedy and melodrama. The whole premise of Param not being able to get a visa is a little too light on logic. What makes things worse is the background score, which feels like it belongs in a campy 90s comedy.

‘Namaste England’ is shot in some beautiful locations across India and Europe, but the exotic setting is let down by the predictable and uninspired writing. Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra had crackling chemistry in ‘Ishaqzaade’ (2012) and the duo still look great together, but their characters are so poorly crafted that even their best efforts can’t salvage the story. Parineeti, in particular, tries very hard to add some semblance of respect with her performance, but it just doesn’t work out. Alankrita Sahai, in a glamorous avatar, looks great on-screen, but her role doesn’t offer any chance to perform, either.

The music, lead by tracks like ‘Bhare Bazaar’, ‘Tu Meri’ and ‘Proper Patola’, is far more entertaining than the film. ‘Namaste England’ has a lot of promise, but the film just isn’t able to shake off the ill-effects of clichéd storytelling. This one’s a classic case of love’s labour lost.

Critic’s Rating: 2.0/5

Hindustan Times

Movie Review: Namaste England

There is one thing Namaste England gets absolutely right—Punjab’s obsession with immigrating to the UK by means both legal and illegal and at a great personal cost. The state has given kabootarbaazi a new meaning and people who can help you get there are fuelling a cottage industry, not always at the right side of the law.

That, discerning audiences, is the only thing the Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra film gets right. Once you have patted Namaste England on the back for taking up a subject with serious social ramifications, you have already pushed it too far. For beyond this thought is a film so silly and tedious that the one star I have given it feels like my good deed of the year done.

Not even a shadow of 2007’s Namastey London—not a classic by any account but very much an entertaining watch—Namaste England gets everything wrong from the very first scene. Where the Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif film had its moments, Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra’s movie—along with the rest of the team—has a puerile storyline, hammy performances and dialogues so dreary, they leave you seething with murderous rage.

Instead of a film, it feels like 135 minutes of an improv session with the audience left holding the bill. Namaste England appears to be set in a village near Amritsar where the entire young population has just one job—to fool Parineeti Chopra’s ultra-conservative grandfather and facilitate her dates with Arjun Kapoor. He, by his own admission, is a farmer and an MSc in agriculture who has never seen farming. Talk about expensive education gone waste!

Other than marrying Arjun’s Param, Parineeti’s Jasmeet has only one dream – to become a successful jewellery designer. As a woman controlled by her daarji and veerji, she hopes that her marriage with a forward-looking Param will set her free. Daarji has his own plans though. He says yes to Jasmeet and Param’s wedding on one condition – Jasmeet will never be allowed to work outside her home. Daarji :1, feminism: 0.

Jasmeet, like the rest of Punjab, decides that she and Param will just have to relocate to London for her to live her dreams. But there is a problem—Param has a frenemy who has vowed that he will never let him get a visa and this frenemy has some serious contacts. They could have shifted to Delhi or Mumbai or Chennai or just told Daarji to take a hike but no, who wants common sense when they can have hammy performances and melodrama?

Common sense takes a beating and Namaste England enters a la la land of its own making with seductresses in blingy outfits and rich dudes with two expressions. As you wonder who truly sleepwalked through the film—its director or scriptwriter—the dialogues emerge as clear winner.

In fact, Race 3’s ‘our business is our business’ will just have to accept it now, it has got competition. Sample this: ‘Jawaan Punjabi ladkon ko UK ka visa milna utna hi mushkil hai jitna terrorists ko swarg milna’ or ‘Mujhe bakwaas karne se mat roko warna mai ro padunga’. Our dear Daarji also comes up with this gem: ‘Mard ka farz hai aurat ka pet palna aur aurat ka usse bacche dena’.

Not just the dialogues, the feel of the movie is highly regressive. For all its trendy dresses and highlighted hair, Namaste England can move to the 70s, no questions asked. Feminism is paid little more than lip service and the role of modern woman, as played by Parineeti, raises more questions than answers. Last year’s Badrinath Ki Dulhania, even though it had its own issues and a constricted world view, had more pop and verve than this ill-advised venture.

The two stars, Arjun and Parineeti, do Namaste England no favours. If Ishaqzaade crackled with their chemistry, here Arjun substitutes hamming for acting. It appears as if Arjun realised just how terrible the project is and decided to contribute to it. The film’s lowest point is when Arjun delivers a nationalistic speech on how India managed Mangalyaan at the price of a rickshaw ride to a Britain-born confused desi—the scene needs both an acting coach and fact checking.

Parineeti’s half-baked character is hard to identify with and her quizzical looks in the film mirror our own. Why would A-list actors work with an A-list director in a film made on a good budget and come up with a film so shoddy and sexist? This is a project that should end careers and for a good reason.

The biggest loser, however, in all of this is England. After LoveYatri earlier this month and now Namaste England, we completely agree with the above confused desi when he says Britishers should stop giving visa to Indians. Or at least to Indian film crews till better sense prevails.

Critic’s Rating: 1.0/5

Indian Express

Movie Review: Namaste England

n 2007, Shah had come up with Namastey London, in which Akshay Kumar got to tell a bunch of Brits how great India really is, and how wise Katrina’s Jaaz aka Jasmeet was to prefer a large-hearted ‘desi munda’ over a stupid ‘gora’.

This week, Shah’s new film, Namaste England attempts at telling exactly the same story, with a different set of actors. The former was passable, with Kaif trying her paces, and Kumar taking baby steps in creating his best-selling persona–the full-fledged Mr Bharat he has now turned into.

This re-tooling is drowned in stale banter in what passes for Bollywood’s idea of rural Punjab. We meet Jasmeet ( Chopra) and her ‘bauji’ and ‘veerji’ who watch strictly over her. No, she can’t work. No, she can’t romance. Except she does both, because she has Param (Kapoor), her ‘gabru jawan’ whose sole aim in life is to support his Jasmeet’s single-minded ambition, which is to get a ‘residency’ in the UK.

Both try different routes to get there, and a better film could have made something of the heartbreak and challenges people face when leaving their country for another.

Critic’s Rating: 1.0/5

Flimfare

Movie Review: Namaste England

Both hail from the same village in Punjab and are wealthy landowners. Jasmeet wants to be a jewellery designer but unfortunately for her, both her grandfather and her brother are the two most regressive men in the world who don’t want her to work. To escape their clutches, she agrees to marry Param but her grandfather extracts a promise from his father that he won’t make his bahu work, as women are only good for rearing children — this is an actual dialogue from the film. To her dismay, Param’s father agrees. Though much conjugal joy is to be had, she still dreams of living and working in England. Hence, Jasmeet executes a hare-brained scheme of getting herself married to an NRI, Sam (Aditya Seal) hailing from London. It’s to be a false marriage — she’ll get a divorce after getting a resident visa and then call Param to England. Param doesn’t want to wait that long and illegally travels to England searching for her. He launches an equally brainless scheme of luring Sam’s friend Alisha (Alankrita Sahai) through his charms, and sets up fixing marriage to her in order to make Jasmeet jealous…

The film is as melodramatic as they come. Every situation looks contrived and forced. It’s heart may be have been in the right place but everything else is not. Perhaps having two stars who have clicked together before, exotic locations and a hummable score might have lulled director Shah into thinking he’s got the right ingredients. Contextually, film looks like it was set in the ’60s and not in the current era. Yes, we do have a regressive mindset even today in our society but the need of the hour was to show Parineeti fighting it here, in Punjab, rebelling against her elders, making them see light and being supported in that endeavour by her husband. Instead, she embarks on an escapist fantasy which doesn’t serve a purpose. And why in a supposedly progressive film the heroine is describing another woman as a slut in graphic terms. “Use baithne ke liye kaho toh woh let jaati hai” — tell her to sit and she lies down — Really! Use of such imagery is defeatist, isn’t it? The film takes you from one improbable situation to another and at the end you feel as if you’re watching a stoner movie.

Both Parineeti and Arjun are in need of a hit and to that end they try hard to spice up the proceedings. However, their heroic efforts aren’t enough to salvage the disjointed story and screenplay. Tracks like Tere liye, Proper Patola and Tu meri main tera, do add some flair but it’s a case of too little, too late…

Critic’s Rating: 2.0/5

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