Revenge of the Eves


BACHNA AE HASEENO. Director: Siddharth Anand. Players: Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Minissha Lamba, Hiten Paintal. Music: Vishal Shekhar. Theatrical release: August 2008. 

Eve-teasing in India is a well-entrenched social mechanism that—depending on who you talk to—is either a sophomoric, harmless expression of males verbally flattering some women on their way to work or school, or highly offensive sexual innuendo that often results in violence against women. Although it doesn’t settle the so-called debate, Bachna Ae Haseeno borrows a page or two from that courtship-ritual-meets-harassment. When the dust settles, director Anand’s handling of the subject actually makes a couple of valid points and does so with style.

Intelligently spanning romantic entanglements over more than a decade,Bachna Ae Haseeno mostly follows Raj (Kapoor), a (wink wink) mischief-seeking dude who crosses tracks with three women. There is Mahi (Lamba), a college student Raj flirts with early on during a tour of Europe, Radhika (Basu), a supermodel Raj moves on to back in Mumbai, and finally Gayatri (Padukone), a taxi-driver in Sydney where Raj settles down. What makes Anand’s film click is a combination of brisk pace, picturesque locales (especially on the Mediterranean coast), and the immensely popular Krishna Kumar Kunnath-Shilpa Rao romantic duet “Khuda Jaane.”

The most refreshing part of the script is the prospect of Raj’s guilty conscience forcing him to face the music. In the old days, the “heroine” would be teased by the “hero” ceaselessly at the beginning, and in the end she’d fall in love with him and all would be forgiven. Here, Raj is allowed an unusual lucid reflection on his trespasses, which in turn lead to a desire for moral and romantic repentance. And, wouldn’t you know it, Raj finds out that journeying backward is not so easy. Maybe, just maybe, times have changed.bf545a449d2edb52e45109a18368d371-2

Globe trekker, aesthete, photographer, ski bum, film buff, and commentator Aniruddh Chawda writes from Milwaukee.

You May Like This

Geeta Malik’s ‘India Sweets And Spices’ Stirs Up A Delicious Cinematic Recipe

I had been waiting to watch Geeta Malik’s India Sweets and Spices ever since it buzzed in the news that the film was being shot in my hometown of Atlanta. It

Sardar Kaur Is the Irascible Dadi That I Might Be

I saw the title Sardar Ka Grandson pop up on Netflix. I kept on scrolling, assuming that this may be a Punjabi movie with a macho flair. Perhaps it was a remake

One Year Since Sushant…

As the first death anniversary of Sushant Singh Rajput approaches, we relive the moments that made his memorable debut in the 2013 movie Kai Po Che. At the star

Sign-up and join our newsletter today!

* indicates required