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Saturday, May 18, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

De De Pyaar De
Akiv Ali
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rakul Preet Sing and others
Rating: * * 1/2

De De Pyaar De — maybe marginally less misogynistic than Luv Ranjan’s earlier films-- has been produced by him, and directed by Akiv Ali.

It is supposedly a comedy about an older man falling in love with a younger woman, but ends up exonerating, not callow young men this time, but a 50-year-old for being an unfeeling jerk.

Ashish (Ajay Devgn), gamely playing his own age, is a London-based rich guy, who is called “buddha” and “uncle” frequently, but is also pursued by a self-proclaimed “hot” 26-year-old engineer-cum-bartender, Aisha (Rakul Preet Singh), who is surprised that he didn’t touch her when she was passed out drunk in his apartment.

They have some honest conversations about how this 24-year age difference will work out in the future, but decide that they want to be together anyway, and he takes her to India to meet his ex-wife Manju (Tabu) and grown-up kids—the daughter is almost Aisha’s age.

They walk into the beautiful Himachal resort that Manju runs, and walks smack into some major family melodrama, which leads him to introduce Aisha as his secretary. Amazingly, this is believed by his parents, and all the rest, that includes the 47-year-old Manju’s moronic suitor VK (Jimmy Shergill). Please note, older men effortlessly get “hot” young women; older women have to deal with creeps and probably be grateful for the attention.

Like the ‘anti-girlfriend’ rants made popular by Kartik Aryan in Ranjan’s previous films, here the cringe-worthy scene involves Manju and Aisha verbally attacking each other under the guise of comparing old cars with new.

Aisha shows some self-respect much too late, and of course, things get messy; who should come to Ashish’s defence but the loyal wife. Why they separated and why he never came home even to meet his family, with whom she lives, is never explained. “Don’t blame him for everything,” Manju sternly says to everybody having hysterics about Ashish affair with Aisha, as if such a romance is unheard of. Only Ashish’s therapist buddy (Jaaved Jaaferi in a hilarious cameo) verbalizes what is going on—”It’s not age gap, it’s generation gap,” he quite rightly diagnoses.

De De Pyaar De tries to be bold and cool, turns out to be mildly funny and mostly exasperating; but, what the heck, who is looking for depth in what is clearly a date movie?  The three lead actors—Tabu in particular—are terrific.  It would take real guts for a filmmaker to take this story twenty years forward, when the woman is 46 and the man 70!  Try making the audience laugh then!

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