It’s seems ages since I first saw a trailer for Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd on the big screen. And I remember thinking “Interesting concept for a film. It looks like fun.”
Well, bohut mazaa hai.
It could be unweildy to tell the stories of 5 couples on a group honeymoon in Goa, but Reema Kagti manages to do it, without getting tangled up or losing anyone in the shuffle. One device that is used, along with flashbacks, is narration by a DJ at Radio Mirchi. (Product placement, helloooo!)
There’s the perfect Parsi couple, the older couple on their second marriage, the uptight Bengali couple, the arranged marriage Gujurati couple, the filmi couple, and the hip couple. We think we know what to expect with each, but there are some surprises, and some very gay positive messages (though there was one couple I was hoping would have wound up together that didn’t).
It’s a long list of actors, and you can read about them individually at the movie’s website, but some of the more recognizable names who’ve signed to this endeavour are Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, KayKay Menon, Raima Sen, Amisha Patel,
Diya Dia Mirza and amazingly (because he keeps getting offered roles) Vikram Chatwal. (Nothing against the hotelier’s fabulously wealthy son, who actually has pretty eyes and an interesting face, but his delivery when he speaks is slurred and jerky.)
One face I was surprised and happy to see in the role of Chatwal’s character’s wife was that of Sandhaya Mridul, who I enjoyed as the spunky roommate in Page 3. My heart went out to her character, a cool, loving girl who has the worst luck with men.
Shabana is understated and lovely as the grieving Naheed, married to long-time acquaintance Oscar Fernandes (Boman Irani). I had a great time watching his hair, after listening to him on the most recent podcast of the BBC Asian Network’s Film Cafe, where he revealed that the wig was a nightmare and required a lot of care and attention to get it right, then a gust of wind would come along and undo everything. Yes, they do actually lock lips, apparently a fact that’s getting a lot of attention, but who cares? It fit in fine with the moment in the story, and Boman looked bashful. (And the film is a Farhan/Zoya product. That must have been interesting conversation. “Ok Mom, listen, we think it would be integral to the story if Boman kisses you.”)
Once we get beyond the first impressions of each couple, we learn that there are some people struggling with issues of sexuality, others pining for someone other than the one they married, and some who have super powers as the result of being struck by lightning (yes, really). Raima and KayKay have great chemistry, and she just looks fabulous. It’s funny to see him in the role of a buttoned-up guy who wears a fanny pack! Both are enjoyable to watch as they shed some inhibitions and get closer to each other.
I’d like to include some more details but it’s late and this will have to do for now. I will say that there is a filmi dream sequence, and yes, that is Amisha Patel wearing a tiara as she rises out of a faux fur-lined giant clamshell:
See it or skip it
See it. It won’t reveal the meaning of life, but it’s a fun escape, especially for people living in cold, grey climes. And vah, kya ensemble cast hai!