Qarib Qarib Singlle review: Parvathy, Irfan shine in this charming love story

Parvathy gives a no-hold barred performance as a woman years ahead her age and experience. It is her way of announcing her arrival in Bollywood, writes Deepa Antony.

Known for intense, raw and women-oriented films, like Dushman and Sangharsh, Tanuja Chandra brings Qarib Qarib Singlle,a light-hearted romantic comedy. In the 10 years since Dil toh Pagal Hai Tanuja Chandra has successfully attempted romance on-screen in a myriad of tales. But perhaps this is her first attempt at an ‘almost single’ love story; a theme the millennial generation is familiar through pop-culture.

Qarib Qarib Singlle is the story of Jaya and Yogi, two souls looking for company, who meet through a dating site. Jaya is a widow of 35, who has made a habit of her loneliness. She has a routine to which she sticks and is habitually unable to change even if it means happiness. Jaya gives herself a chance by meeting Yogi, who by his own admission has a “stalker-face” but isn’t quite one. They are poles apart even at sight, and how he talks her into going on a trip to meet his exes from Varanasi, to Jaipur and finally to Gangtok, and how, more than anything else, it becomes a journey of self-learning and unlearning for both of them is what Qarib Qarib Singlle is.

Irrfan Khan as Yogi is loud, uncouth and sans social etiquettes or grace. All of which reminds one of Rana Chaudhary from Piku, also played by Irrfan Khan. However, at the same time, Yogi also has a softness and clarity of thought about him. Irrfan Khan breathes life into Yogi easily making him difficult to love while just as easy to adore. Parvathy as Jaya is reserved, insecure, stuck up and hence relatable. She is every independent woman who is flawed in her reservations and insecurities and yet has had to live up to the tag of being the ‘infallible urban independent strong woman’.

Three cheers to the team that decided that they didn’t want their leading lady to look all glammed up, keeping her as beautiful and real as they possibly could. Ridhima Sharma does a good job on Parvathy, keeping her hair and makeup basic and beautiful. However, Parvathy struggles to look a 35 year old, as she clearly isn’t one. Maybe, the makeup could have helped on that front. The costumes, for both Irran and Parvathy, are on point. Irrfan’s flashy and colourful personality reflects right through his costumes with being cartoonish in even a single frame. His costume sublets down as his character grows on you. Same is the case with Parvathy. Jaya is adorned with whites and pastels, keeping with her character. Her wardrobe undergoes a transformation, adding a colour here and there, as her character transforms on screen. Maria Tharakan and Kirti Kolwankar deserve a huge shout out for a splendid job of dressing up the cinema with such thought.

The cinema has two songs, both catch on like fire. Rochak Kohli brings a travel song, Tu Chalet toh sung by Papon while Vishal Mishra’s Jaane de is the quintessential heartbreak song by Atif Aslam. Jaane de, however is more than a heartbreak song. It is also the central theme of the cinema. At the heart this story is about Jaya and Yogi letting go of their individual pasts and embracing their future.

Admittedly, the story isn’t new. (However the single is written in the title is!) It really is old wine in a brand new bottle. But, the film still has a refreshingly new feminine perspective and narrative from the lady director, and the female lead. While nothing short of a stellar performance is expected from Irrfan Khan, which he promptly delivers, Parvathy stands tall as his match. Parvathy gives a no-hold barred performance as a woman years ahead her age and experience. It definitely is her way of announcing her arrival in Bollywood.


reviewed byDeepa Antony

13 Nov 2017 | 10:43 PM

  • directed by
  • Tanuja Chandra
  • Starring
  • Irrfan Khan
  • Parvathy