It is always a great feeling when a much anticipated film manages to meet expectations. That’s exactly the case with De De Pyaar De that had made a very good first impression when the promo was out. Ever since then there was good curiosity to check out what does this Luv Ranjan production have to offer to the audience. After all, the film had a unique subject of a 50 year old man falling in love with a woman half his age. To add to the mix, there is an ex-wife in the equation as well.
As it turns out, the film delivers the kind of entertainment that was expected from it. The promo had pretty much set the stage that the whole love story of Ajay Devin and Rakul Preet Singh would have a modern take to it while stepping in of Tabu would make it ‘nok-jhok se bharpoor’ triangle. This is what happens as the first half actually turns out to be truly flawless. You love every sequence that plays, be it the coming together of Ajay and Rakul, the sessions that Ajay has with Javed Jafferey, the love story that develops between the lead couple, the realisation that strikes them, the eventual decision to stay together and then the supremely entertaining and hilarious interval point when Ajay, Rakul and Tabu come face to face. It is on expected lines but still first time director Akiv Ali handles the situation so very well that you just can’t wait for the second half to begin.
In the second half the film maintains its core essence but also moves in a couple of different dimensions where some of these work and some do not. The attraction that Jimmy Sheirgill has for Tabu could have been more hilarious, the hatred that Ajay Devgn’s daughter has for him could have been toned down, Alok Nath is not as hilarious as he was in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and the ‘rakhi’ sequence just falls flat. However, what works is the perspective shown on live-in relationship, the banter that takes place between Tabu and Rakul, an interesting twist featuring Ajay’s son, and the dilemma that Ajay goes through.
A couple of songs, one celebration and another sad, seem forced though that makes the second half longer than desired. However, all of this is negated by the pre-climax outburst by Tabu which turns out to be the highlight of the second half. She makes a few pertinent points that are progressive and address certain issues that have never been seen before in a Hindi film. All of this is handled with a lot of maturity and grace.
What also aids the narrative immensely is the background score by Hitesh Sonik. He keeps the mood of the film upbeat, as required by the genre, and even at emotional moments he doesn’t make it overbearing. As for the songs, they are pleasant to hear and while they keep the narrative moving in the second half, they could have been shortened in the second half. Locations and sets are good, both set in London and Manali.
As for the performances, Ajay Devgn gets into a very different kind of character after films like Raid and Total Dhamaal/Golmaal Again. He looks every bit a mature NRI millionaire. Rakul Preet Singh is the jaan of the film. She not just looks extremely beautiful, she also performs very well right through the film. In fact you want to see her on screen whenever she disappears for more than five minutes. Tabu has been seen as a headstrong woman film after film but in DDPD you see a vulnerable side of her persona as well. As for her outburst in front of the whole family, it is excellent.
The film as a whole entertains a lot as well. It has emotions to offer in addition to the light hearted moments that would aid in bringing mature audiences as well in addition to the youth. As for some of the points that it makes in the second half, they may be debatable but certainly can’t be ignored.