Watch Comedy Couple for Shweta and Saqib, says Moumita Bhattacharjee.
Comedy Couple, as an idea, is quite exciting.
We are more familiar with people doing stand-up alone on stage. A couple changes the dynamics and when you land your punches, you get reactions from either sex.
Maybe that's what drove the makers of this film to spin a tale around it with Shweta Basu Prasad and Saqib Saleem.
Good thought, but it's betrayed by confused priorities.
Zoya (Shweta) and Deep (Saqib) are a live-in couple who do stand-up comedy together.
Deep has given up on his six figure salary to choose this path of making people laugh.
It starts well for them and they book more shows as the comic couple.
But in their personal lives, things are in disarray because live-in relationships are frowned upon in India.
Finding accommodation together is a bigger problem than landing punches.
What complicates things is Deep's impulse to lie every time he faces danger. How that creates more issues forms the rest of the plot.
It's an interesting idea but only on paper.
Bikas Ranjan Mishra, who penned this story, tries to give you reasons to like the film.
For one, the struggles of finding a place to stay for a live-in couple is very real.
Also, the times where landlords feel obliged to pass a sweeping statement about 'aaj kal ke bacche' is highly relatable.
But the point is that none of it is new.
While you connect with it, it does nothing to keep you interested in the film.
The biggest issue is that both the director and the writer conveniently forget the 'comedy' bit in the exercise.
With a few stand-up acts thrown here and there, with jokes that don't even earn a chuckle from you, Comedy Couple just can't seem to focus on anything but the couple.
Their fights, their squabbles, their happy times, strange and contrasting parents, and most of all, Deep's lying habit.
The story suddenly becomes about his habit to lie his way out of everything and how it starts impacting their relationship.
The only time it makes for an interesting watch is when Deep tries to use that as a material in his stand-up.
Then there's the sequence of a gag on gou mutra, which lands Deep in jail because he hurts religious sentiments.
Again, relatable but unnecessary.
Director Nachiket Samant keeps the rhythm intact, I have to admit.
The pace never falls and there's something happening at every instant. But snipping the film's length would have been a good idea because it gets repetitive after a while.
What works, and in fact, saves the movie from drowning is the amazing chemistry between Saqib Saleem and Shweta Basu Prasad.
Shweta is a notch above Saqib, but together, they are fabulous. It's as if they are a real couple.
Without these two actors and their superb camaraderie, Comedy Couple would have been drab.
While the other actors in the film are good too, they don't have any purpose in the story.
Aadar Malik reminded me of Ranvir Shorey from Pyaar Ke Side Effects. Only here, he doesn't have anything substantial to add to the narrative.
Subha Rajput as Zoya's friend is called a feminist which obviously sounds more like slang than a character description. Her feminism is restricted to just eyeing men with suspicion.
If Comedy Couple falls in your scheme of things, just watch it for Shweta and Saqib.