Shimla Mirchi is a lost opportunity, feels Moumita Bhattacharjee.
In 2015, when it was announced that Rajkummar Rao would be romancing Hema Malini in Ramesh Sippy’s Shimla Mirchi, everyone was intrigued.
Five years later, the film finally makes an appearance at theatres and it comes as a stale, bland romantic-comedy with hardly any laugh-worthy moments.
The film opens with an honest admission that it is based on 2010’s French romcom Beautiful Lies.
That perhaps is its only highlight.
The story revolves around a young girl named Naina (Rakul Preet Singh), who aspires to start her own cafe in Shimla while also trying to help her mother (Hema Malini) get over her separation from her father (Kanwaljit Singh).
Enter Avinash (Rajkummar Rao), who has unsuccessfully tried to propose to girls and chances upon Naina on his 22nd family trip to the hill station. He falls head over heels in love with her.
Avinash decides to pen his feelings in a letter and sends it to Naina.
She's not interested in her 'Secret Admirer' but gets a brainwave to twist the contents of the letter and send it to her mother.
And that's where things take a turn for the weird.
Ramesh Sippy gets out of his 25 years of retirement to direct this film but it leaves you thoroughly unimpressed. Even a cameo from him does not help.
This comedy of errors hardly has any moments that will tickle your funny bone, except the one where Shakti Kapoor admits he is a changed man now.
The first half lavishly establishes the characters peppered with an OTT performance by Rakul Preet.
Since it's a dated film, the staleness seeps through every scene.
Rajkummar has become a bonafide star now but here he seems quite raw. Since he is a good actor, he compensates for that with his innocent portrayal of Avinash. He shoulders the film all alone and deserves applause for that.
The premise sounds promising but would have had a better impact had it kept its date with the theatres years ago.
Hema Malini returns to the silver screen after many years, and is still very graceful.
While she regaled us with her comic timing in Sholay and Seeta Aur Geeta, she fails to live up to it here.
She deserved a better comeback, like Baghban.
Her character had a good arc that could have been explored but the script robs her of that finesse.
Shimla Mirchi is a lost opportunity.
Moumita Bhattacharjee believes that writing on movies is pure fate. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org