‘YAARIYAN 2’ REVIEW | 20 October, 2023

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T-Series Films, Rao And Sapru Films and BLM Pictures’ Yaariyan 2 (UA) is the second in the Yaariyan series. It is a coming-of-age romantic comedy drama, based on the original screenplay of Malayalam film Bangalore Days, written by Anjali Menon.

Laadli Chhiber (Divya Khosla Kumar), Shikhar Randhawa (Meezaan Jafri) and Bajrang Das Khatri (Pearl V. Puri) are cousins. Laadli gets married to Abhay Singh Katyal (Yash Dasgupta) but he can’t get himself to accepting her as his wife. He gives her all the comforts and luxuries but is unable to love her as a husband. Shikhar is a motorbike racer but an ugly incident comes in the way of his passion and career as there’s a ban imposed in his racing. Ultimately, that comes in the way of his love life too. He loves Ikroor Awasthi (Anaswara Rajan) but the latter’s sister doesn’t approve of Shikhar mainly because he doesn’t have any job or business. Bajrang falls in love with an airhostess, Shona (Warina Hussain), but their romantic flight is grounded barely after take-off. Why is Abhay not willing to accept Laadli as his wife? Does Shikhar participate in any race again? Does he win back Ikroor? What finally happens to Bajrang’s love story?

Muhammad Asif Ali, Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru have written a story which clearly exposes how confused they are. Right till the end, it is not clear whether the main story is that of Laadli and Abhay or of Shikhar and Ikroor or of Bajrang and Shona. This may not have been a point of concern, but for a good part of the first half, the audience is led to believe that Laadli and Abhay’s story is the main while Shikhar and Bajrang are side characters. However, the other two stories assume so much importance in the post-interval portion that the viewers get confused whether all the three stories are equal in importance. Even that is lopsided because of the other two stories, the least importance is given to the love story of Bajrang and Shona.

Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru’s screenplay is very weak. The relationship between the three cousins is so weird that it becomes embarrassing to watch one girl and two guys behave the way the trio behaves. Considering that Laadli, Shikhar and Bajrangi are shown to be cousins, it is the writer-duo’s sheer laziness that they haven’t even bothered to explain how they are related. Of course, nothing would’ve changed had they explained, but it would’ve at least given the viewers the impression that the writers were sincere about their writing. The first half tests the audience’s patience as inane scenes keep unfolding on the screen one after another. The drama becomes a bit interesting after interval but that’s not saying much because till then, it completely fails to involve the viewers. Although the track of Laadli trying to give a closure to Abhay’s past is interesting, it comes so late that the audience has gotten tired of the drama by then. There are three (or rather, four) love stories, but, shockingly, there is hardly any heartwarming romance in the drama. Comedy is conspicuous by its absence. Emotions hardly touch the heart except in a couple of scenes of Raajlaxmi alias Rajji’s (Bhagyashri Borse) parents. The build-up of the two climaxes (Laadli-Abhay; and Shikhar) is good but the impact reduces dramatically once the climax reaches the end. Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru’s dialogues are too ordinary to be true.

Yash Dasgupta acts ably in the role of Abhay Katyal. As Laadli, Divya Khosla Kumar creates some impression in the emotional scenes post-interval. Meezan Jafri is quite confident as Shikhar Randhawa. Pearl V. Puri looks endearing and acts very well as Bajrang Das Khatri. Warina Hussain gets limited scope as Shona but her performance is quite good. Anaswara Rajan does fairly well as Ikroor. Bhagyashri Borse is bubbly as Raajlaxmi alias Rajji. Priya Prakash Varrier is good in a special appearance as Devi. Murali Sharma lends lovely support in the role of Raajlaxmi’s father. Piyumori Mehta Ghosh is natural as Raajlaxmi’s mother. Usha Subramanian Saxena provides good support as. Lillete Dubey stands her own as Laadli’s mother. Sudhir Pandey (as Bajrang’s boss), Rituraj (as the managing director of Speed Motors), Amita Nangia Bansal (as the chief guest at the beauty pageant), Shubhangi S. Latkar (as Abhay’s mother), Sakshi Pradhan (as Seerat), Siddharth Menon (as Laadli’s lover, Kashyap), Harmanjeet Singh Singer (as Vikram), Karan Singh Chhabra (as the groom in the ‘Billo’ song), Mansi Moghe (as the bride in the ‘Billo’ song), Akshit Sukhija (as Shona’s boyfriend), Ajay Singh (as Randhawa), Akanksha Singh (as the ticket counter girl), Shivani Pancholi (as the Shimla bride), and the others lend average support.

Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru’s direction is dull and confused. Not only that, each of the love stories has some depressing angle to it, because of which the joy of romance is absent. Music (by Manan Bhardwaj, Khaalif and Yo Yo Honey Singh) is very appealing — with some songs being hits — but the impact is lost because songs start and end at the drop of a hat. Lyrics (Manan Bhardwaj, Khaalif and Yo Yo Honey Singh) are wonderful. Choreography (Pappu-Maalu, Firoz A. Khan and Vikram Borade) is good. Background music (Jam 8 Studios) is quite nice. C.R. Ravi Yadav’s camerawork is eye-filling. Alan Amin and Arjun Raaj’s action and stunt scenes are okay. Radhika Rao, Vinay Sapru and Shankar Samanta’s production designing and Aaryan Prajapati’s art direction are alright. Abhishek Kumar Singh’s editing leaves something to be desired.

On the whole, Yaariyan 2 is a poor show and will find the going tough. It completely lacks the warmth of a love story.

Released on 20-10-’23 at Inox (daily 5 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru AA Films. Publicity:so-so. Opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was weak everywhere.