« Back to articlePrint this article

Friday Night Plan Review: Watch Out For Babil!

September 01, 2023 12:56 IST

Friday Night Plan's sweet-natured heart and sanitised humour are happier focusing on the inherent niceness teenagers are capable of, observes Sukanya Verma.

A self-effacing, socially awkward 18 year old and his two years younger brother sneak out in their mum's car while she is out of town on work to embark on an adventurous all-nighter with classmates.

Over the course of their mildly eventful, mostly conscientious night-out, new friendships are forged, few feathers are ruffled and sibling goals are achieved.

Everything you watch in Friday Night Plan, you've probably watched in countless Hollywood teenage coming-of-age comedies before.

Varsity teams, locker room talk, prom nights, cafeterias that serve croissants not vada pav, poetry-spewing young adults in snazzy classrooms, house parties in posh penthouses -- scenes once typical to the life of an American high schooler, as depicted in the movies, are no longer uncommon for inhabitants of India's premium international school premises and their upscale upbringing outside it.


Unlike Student of the Year's fantasy campus though, Friday Night Plan's luxury learning appears practical with a price tag.

What rings familiar though is the sense of rebellion, confusion, naivete and penchant for getting into trouble and charm for getting out of it in the same vein as the likes of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, House Party, SuperBad, Ten Things I Hate About You, the ilk.

Written and directed by Vatsal Neelakantan, this light-hearted, slice-of-teenage is far removed from the dark, deceitful adolescence of Web series set around a similar milieu like Class or School of Lies.

Friday Night Plan's sweet-natured heart and sanitised humour are happier focusing on the inherent niceness teenagers are capable of beyond the stereotypical show of popularity and arrogance.

Raised by a smart, sensitive, single working mom (Juhi Chawla Mehta), responsible albeit reserved Sid (Babil Khan) is terrified by the idea of attention but secretly crushes on everyone's favourite in class (Medha Rana).

In a complete contrast, his devil-may-care, fun-loving little brother Adi (Amrith Jayan) is not only his greatest cheerleader but also his biggest source of annoyance.

When the autorickshaw-commuting brothers bump into the Audi-transported campus clique of football stars, a whiff of snobbery pervades the air.

But one game-winning goal by Sid turns things around and, 'Shitty Siddy' is suddenly the flavour of the day. And because, TGIF (thank god it's Friday), he earns a sought-after entry to an exclusive FNP -- Friday Night Party, beer pong and flip cup, et al, thrown by one of the rich kids when their parents are not home.

Adi insisting on tagging along can never be a good thing.

What ensues is predictable and uncomplicated yet disarming enough to highlight Babil's ease in a role that's truer to his self in all its come-as-you-are charms. His infectious chemistry with chhota bhai, portrayed with starry-eyed enthusiasm by Amrith Jayan, offers a fond glimpse into sibling bonds.

Its youthful cast of unadorned talent, whether playing the puffed-up prankster, the proud jock, the uncool bloke trying to play cool, the Madhushala-reading thinking girl (Aadhya Anand) in the room, adds to the breezy mood despite familiar storytelling.

As the only adults in this young space, there's a Tharoorian English teacher (Vivek Tandon) saying lines like, 'If I may adjure you to intone your piece,' Ninad Kamat's peeved sub-inspector breathing hot and cold over a minor offence in Aamchi Mumbai style while the lovely Juhi Chawla Mehta, in a special appearance, is a perfect fit for the mother who has raised her kids to do the right thing.

Friday Night Plan streams on Netflix.

Friday Night Plan Review Rediff Rating: