Do Aur Do Pyaar (Two Plus Two Is Love) review – refreshingly nonjudgmental infidelity romcom

Estimated read time 2 min read

The algebra of love is a multiple-choice conundrum in Shirsha Guha Thakurta’s debut, a witty remake of Azazel Jacobs’ romance The Lovers starring Debra Winger. Transporting the original story of a disaffected American couple caught up in extramarital affairs to Mumbai, Do Aur Do Pyaar often heads to the city’s beaches, whose shifting tides bring to mind the unpredictable ebb and flow of long-term relationships.

In the film, the weight of marital distance is etched on to every frame. Twelve years into their marriage, Kavya (Vidya Balan) and Ani (Pratik Gandhi) have run out of affectionate words. Revolving around allergy medicines and bin bags, their daily conversations have gone terribly stale. At the same time Kavya finds comfort in the arms of handsome photographer Vikram, played by Heroes alum Sendhil Ramamurthy, while Ani is knee deep in a committed relationship with aspiring actor Nora (Ileana D’Cruz). The film treats these romantic entanglements with a refreshing, nonjudgmental frankness, destigmatising the possibility of divorce and unshackling the concept of matrimony from its eternal promise; instead it depicts commitment as a perpetual work in progress.

A trip to Kavya’s home town ignites nostalgic memories of the couple’s thrilling, whirlwind courtship; radically the film sees their struggles not simply as individual failure but an extension of cultural differences and familial angst. While excelling in visual terms, some of the dialogue is sketchy: one pivotal argument between Kavya and Ani, for instance, culminates in sputterings that shed little light on the pair’s disillusionment. Nevertheless, Balan’s assured performance, in which her character speaks frankly about abortion and sexual pleasure, is an impressive avatar of modern Indian womanhood.


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