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Hello, Goodbye

Saturday, October 20, 2018
By Deepa Gahlot

Namaste England
Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Seal, Alankrita Sahai and others
Rating: *

Okay, so Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s 'Namaste England' can be added to the list of the worst films of the year when it is drawn up. With film-makers experimenting with content and wooing audiences with slice-of-life stories made well, how could anyone come up with something as daft as this one?

In a 'pind' in Punjab, Param (Arjun Kapoor) stalks Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) over several festivals — in that state, people seem to do nothing but dance — till she comes up to talk to him. His excuse for this creepy behaviour is, “Ashiq ghoorte nahin, niharte hain.” Whatever!

To facilitate their meeting and allow her to work as a jewellery designer without her conservative grandfather finding out, all her friends call the old man with excuses to invite her over. Eventually, a proposal is made the formal way, and the stern grandpa says yes, provided Jasmeet does not work after marriage.

For some reason, Jasmeet does not think of moving to a big city in India, but gets obsessed with going to London; women in India ostensibly cannot have careers! A friend-turned-foe has such connections that he blocks Param’s visa to every country in the world — even Bangladesh! So Jasmeet has a sham marriage with Sam (Aditya Seal) so that she can go to London on a “marriage visa,” get her residency, then divorce him, go back and fetch Param over!

It can’t get sillier than this! While Jasmeet changes into Western outfits and looks after Sam’s ailing grandfather, Param goes to London illegally cutting border wires and hiding in shipping containers. Once there, he decides to have a fake marriage with Alisha (Alankrita Sahai) to make Jasmeet jealous… and so it goes, throwing common sense out of the window along with the law.

After showing that Indians — and the token homesick Pakistani — are basically dishonest and have scant respect for British immigration rules, Param has the temerity to give a lecture on the greatness of India, and predict a future when everyone will want to indian, because — get this —India sent Mangalayan to Mars at the cost of a rickshaw ride! (What were these guys drinking!)

It’s a wonder the actors did not break out into guffaws when they did those insufferable scenes or spoke those odd lines; because, after a point, the audience just laughs at everything, and not in a nice, we-are-enjoying-this way!

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