Movie Review : Vitamin She

Needed more Vitamin ‘C’, Creativity

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Every love story has its own problems, but every ‘rom-com’ aka romantic comedy movie has almost the same pattern. Boy meets girl, they have initial friction, but eventually, they fall for each other, they start ignoring friends. Everything looks rosy, but only then some unresolved parental issues/commitment phobia show up, love evaporates and fights-misunderstandings take its place. When the protagonist realizes his true love, the female lead might have boarded the flight. Our hero rushes to an airport and brings her love of his life back and they live happily ever after. These stories have caused flight delays in dozens of Hollywood-Bollywood movies in past many decades. This year’s one of the most anticipated Gujarati movies ‘Vitamin She’ is based on this very rom-com template.
The main reason ‘Vitamin She’ was being eagerly waited, was the debut of Gujarat’s most popular radio jockey Dhvanit Thaker as an actor. Dhvanit is known for his movie reviews as well. So, it’s an interesting transition of a film critic to an actor rather than a film critic turned film maker. ‘Vitamin She’ also marks the debut of a young director Faisal Hashmi.

Boy meets girl

As we know from the trailer, Vitamin She is the story of a young LIC agent Jigar (Dhvanit) who falls in love for Shruti (Bhakti Kubawat). When Jigar is not sleeping, he’s with his three friends ‘Vadil’ (Smit Pandya), ‘Admin’ (Prem Gadhavi) and Manan aka ‘Maniyo’ (Maulik Nayak). After this point please refer to the rom-com template which we discussed in the first paragraph. The film doesn’t move an inch from it.

Does movie meet expectations?

Let’s talk about the things that worked first. The strongest aspect of the film is its melodious music. Almost all five songs, composed by Mehul Surti, has come out really well. We have a song for every occasion. I.e. first look, first feeling, first love, breakup, and realization. The thing that catches our attention is the melody in songs. ‘Maachhalio Ude’ (beautifully sung by Darshan Rawal) and ‘Chhokri’ (sung by Dhvanit) are already popular among youth. Chhokri song is composed & choreographed in the line of superhit ‘Dappan Koothu’ songs of Tamil cinema. Other songs, too, are treat to ears. All the songs are picturized beautifully and creatively. Mark, clever things done in ‘Maachhalio Ude’ song.

The chemistry is crucial for such light hearted love stories. The interesting thing is we have more powerful chemistry between the protagonist and his friends than the lead pair. All three supporting actors (Smit, Prem & Maulik) have strong acting backgrounds and have amazing comic timing. Together they light up every scene they are in. The director has given all three boys a different personality, like one is always giving free advice (hence he’s ‘Vadil’ as in agony uncle), the other is always online and stares at his smart phone (so, he’s ‘admin’) and the third one is crazy after anything in skirts. They have received best punches and thus most laughter.

But when we are not with these happy go lucky friends, cracks start to show. As I said earlier, the film hardly crosses the boundary of the set formula of rom-com movies, which we have been seeing for ages. This predictability of the story robs freshness. Instead of looking organically in love, the lead pair looks like they were told to do so. It feels someone keeps telling them ‘now laugh’, ‘cry’, ‘let’s fight’, ‘tears’, ‘show some frustration young man…’ and the pair follows it animatedly. There are three sub plots of couples who fight for tiny day to day things and patch up conveniently.

See, the film has its heart in its place, but either because of a long time it took in the making or because of weak writing, the film feels like seen it heard that. Girlfriend versus friends, cricket match versus shopping reminds us of ‘Pyar Ka Punchnama.’ This film is told from the boy’s perspective. So, we don’t know why the girl is so nagging? Why doesn’t she like the boy’s friends? Why doesn’t she have any friends? Why she acts like a control freak and tries to mould his lover as per her requirements? The girl has seen her parents fight all the years, yet she hasn’t given up on love and commitment. It’s a good thing she’s not a commitment phobic. Then why she’s so possessive? Or is she possessive only because of this reason? But her character remains the same till the end.
Actually, ‘Vitamin She’ could have examined the impact of over exposure through smartphone on relationships. Does it deletes space between lovers, does it make them impatient, possessive, doubtful? But alas, it doesn’t go beyond same old ‘what woman wants’ and ‘what is love’ rant.

The second half feels very slow and preachy due to sub plots and plain ‘gyaan.’ I don’t know who talks in ‘laaganio’, ‘sambandh’, ‘vishwas’ jargon these days? In a long monologue, eminent poet Tushar Shukla appears and gives gyaan on ‘I love you.’ This completely out of the place scene teleports you in any ‘kavi sammelan’.

Dhvanit is confident but looks more conscious in front of the camera. He needs to loosen up and be less animated in the voice as well as expressions. The same thing can be said about Bhakti Kubawat (why she says ‘Pulis’, btw?). There’s a sub plot of Kurush Debu (Rustom Pawre of ‘Munnabhai MBBS’). I didn’t understand what purpose it served. Ashish Kakkad too had some loudest and unnecessary literary lines.

Date? Yes!

As a movie, ‘Vitamin She’ doesn’t offer anything new. But it is packed with hummable songs, many enjoyable scenes with great comic timing and smart punches, a clean, family friendly colorful packaging, and promising debuts. Can be given a chance for sure.

Rating : **1/2 ( Two and a half stars)

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