Imagine going to watch a T-20 game. You are in the mood for a lot of hits into the stands and the kind of instant entertainment that this format affords. Instead the curator decides he is going to make a square turner and suddenly instead of the Chris Gayles we suddenly find a fascinating game in progress with the Puajara's and Draving coming out on top. We felt the same way after watching Shudh Desi Romance. We were prepared for a lot of Gulabi stuff but were instead left with a much more nuanced representation of relationships with I think probably the first time that I have seen it in a Rom-Com from Bollywood an example of the breaking of the fourth wall.
Raghuram (Sushant Singh Rajput) chickens out from his marriage and enters into a live-in relationship with Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra) and instead of treating this the usual Bollywood way we soon have the couple discussing the division of labor. Fascinating is the character Goyal (Rishi Kapoor) who arranges baraats for wedding. The motivation behind marriage (good business/a natural stepping stone in life like acquiring an education) for the generation before us with what the present wants (romance, love et al) comes across in the banter between Goyal and Raghuram/Gayatri. Also bowled over by what we think is the first instance where the bride to be runs away from marriage not because she is in love with someone else or the groom is a good for nothing or out of a sense of sacrifice. One of the best endings in most of the recent fare that has come out of Bollywood. The awkwardness in getting into a relationship with someone one has rejected before is depicted pretty well in the conversations that Raghuram initially has with Tara (Vanni Kapoor). Apart from this the way the movie is shot one gets a feeling that Jaipur the city is a character as well and shapes the story as much as the characters themselves.
What did not work for me though are some of the more minor details, it is very unconvincing that one can get away so easily calling onself the brother of a girl in a live-in relationship, it is tough to do that in a much bigger city like Bangalore leave alone Jaipur. And I am yet to make up my mind about the braking of the fourth wall. While we loved the ending the simplistic explanation given by Raghuram seemed just that a tad too simple and could have lived without what till now was a very complex take on what it means to love/marry.