Khoobsurat movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan share a ‘Khoobsurat’ chemistry, but the movie?

Pakistani heart-throb Fawad Khan shines in the roles of a dashing prince, but Sonam Kapoor’s simpleton, saccharine act drives us crazy — not in a good way

More than an hour into Khoobsurat, Prince Vikram Singh Rathore (Fawad Khan) looks deep into the eyes of a preposterously-attired Dr Mili Chakraborty (Sonam Kapoor) and suggests that she should filter her thoughts before she blurts them out.

He stole our words. Our next thought? What took him so long to get there? Khoobsurat, Disney’s first Bollywood film, regurgitates their time-tested formula of love conquering all. It’s appealing in places, but don’t expect that feel-good, happily-ever-after feeling to last, because the film has pitfalls that cannot be ignored.

Kapoor, in the role of a klutz amongst royalty, aims at being adorable; but ends up gratingly annoying. Kapoor plays a high-profile physiotherapist (her clients include cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sehwag) who is enlisted to treat Rathore’s father, a wheel-chair bound patriarch. He is surly and has the knack of shooing away doctors. That is until Miss Sunshine — Dr Chakraborty — walks into his palace.

She’s wide-eyed, clumsy and has the table manners of a puppy. She’s a misfit (takes selfies with her phone with the mansion as a backdrop) and the first thirty minutes of the romance is filled with contrived situations to drive home that point.

Her clothes, which looks like something that Mary Poppins and a circus clown would cobble together, is a distraction that we could have done without. Kapoor proves she can carry even the most outlandish patterns, colours and prints together, but we wish her acting wasn’t as loud as her clothes.

For instance, on her first night at the palace, the physiotherapist stumbles into the formal dining room late and grabs a chicken leg before it can even be served by the waiter. She then turns around to ask a teen royal member if she has a boyfriend yet. It looks like the doc needed a crash course on etiquette and maintaining boundaries.

In sharp contrast is the pearl-adorned Nirmala Devi Rathore (Rathna Pathak) who looks on disapprovingly. We don’t blame her. There are times when even we wish we could tell Kapoor to calm down a bit.

But there’s hope in the horizon. The best parts of the film feature Khan. He’s bang on as the emotionally-unavailable, brooding prince. He’s a man of few words (thank God) and his acting is as sharp as his tailored suits. There’s no over-the-top melodrama and we buy into his royal, ruthless act. In his presence, Kapoor blooms as an actress too. Their sensually-charged repartee is engaging, but we wish there was more of that. After all, it’s supposedly a fairytale romance by Disney, the factory that owns the happily-ever-after endings.

Kirron Kher plays Kapoor’s wacky Punjabi mother. It’s not her career’s first (Dostana) but she still manages to inject some freshness into it especially in the climax. Veteran actress Rathna Pathak does well in her role as the snooty matriarch of the mansion.

Khoobsurat, which means beautiful, has its sparkling moments. The songs, such as the one where Mili breaks into a dance with the palace’s help, doesn’t serve any purpose and just makes the romance sluggish. Tighter editing and trimming off of Kapoor’s shrill, cute act would have elevated this engaging film into a riveting one.

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