Watched Parineeta yesterday, thought it was excellent on the whole. It’s been some time since I’ve seen a Hindi film that I could sink into without constantly having to look up to check on my disbelief, hanging from the ceiling (Dil Chahta Hai was probably the last). Which is not to say Parineeta wasn’t melodramatic, even florid, at times. But it managed mostly to be believable, given the contours of the world it was set in.
Won’t write at length about it, mainly because most of what I wanted to say has already been said - in this review. Some inevitable quibbles though: the wall scene was, as has been widely reported, ridiculous (I’d have liked to be a fly on the - err - wall during the scriptwriters’ meeting where it was decided to make that the climax). Sanjay Dutt was miscast. And as another friend pointed out, it was irritating to hear little Bengali phrases interspersed through the film, when it’s understood that the Hindi dialogue is cinematic licence, and that these characters are really meant to be speaking Bengali anyway.
But there was plenty that was wonderful. As Amit says, the unfussy establishment of a milieu with well-defined characters; this is very difficult to do, even when the script is good, but the film made it look easy. Saif was excellent, Vidya Balan was very good too, the music was lovely and there were hardly any shots that seemed extraneous.
Note: I’m not going to bring Sarat Chandra’s novel into this, I thought the film succeeded on its own terms. Also, I’m not in a position to talk about the issues many Bengali friends have with the film’s depiction of various customs. Feel free to weigh in with those.