Boys will be boys. No issues. But must they be such insensitive dolts? Luv Ranjan, director of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, seems to think that the worse they are the better.
His film homes in on a trio of Delhi-NCR boys who share a swanky flat, drink like fish, party hop, and rib each other endlessly as they hunt for love.
By the look of their spacious pad and the abandon with which they blow up money, the threesome appear to be doing fine in life.
What they clearly lack is tact, common sense and luck in relationships.
The girls that they hook up come with their own set of problems and the three boys have no clue how to tide over them.
They sink deeper and deeper into a quagmire because, like the film they are in, they believe a girl is only an object of desire to be acquired and controlled.
Each of them hits upon a girl without so much as a by your leave, and proceeds to boorishly force himself upon her.
The first encounters take place in a party, at a wedding and in the gym and the film has no room for either subtlety or finesse in the way the relationships evolve.
The 2011 sleeper hit of which Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 is an ill-advised repeat act was a passable, if seriously dodgy, romantic comedy in which women were blamed for all the troubles of mankind.
Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 does pretty much the same, but the novelty has worn off and it is saddled with an insufferably inept screenplay.
The result: this tawdry boys-meet-girls rigmarole is a whole lot of unbearable blather.
The very first scene of the film points to what might be up ahead. Three boys in a car are caught in a Delhi traffic jam.
They bicker angrily over who should drive on the way back from the party that they are headed to.
Life is a party for these guys all right, but once the bingeing is done, messy snarls are inevitable. And they go around in circles and get nowhere.
Happy-go-lucky yuppie Anshul/Gogo (Kartik Aaryan) meets the bohemian Chiku (Nushrat Bharucha), who, like the boys, shacks up with a couple of her friends.
Complications arise when her ‘best friend’, a boy nursing a broken heart, moves in with her. What the hell, goes Gogo, but his woes do not go away.
Software engineer Siddharth/Chauka (Sunny Singh) falls for Supriya (Sonnalli Sehgall), who lives with her ultra-conservative and possessive parents and cannot bring herself to tell them that she is dating a boy.
Trouble erupts when the girl’s dad asks Chauka to create a profile for his daughter on a matrimonial website and the latter has no choice but to comply with his request.
To the lot of Tarun/Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) falls the cautious and independent-spirited Kusum (Ishita Raj), who on their very first date insists that they must split the damages for a bottle of wine.
The endless prattle that the boys indulge in among themselves, and with the girls in their lives, is so irritating and shrill that no earplug can shut it out.
Matters are worsened by the songs. One of them is the rueful Dekho ban gaye kutta (See, we’ve become dogs).
Every time Chauka is painted into a corner by his girlfriend, the wailing of a puppy in pain can be heard on the soundtrack.
If Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 is suggesting that boys in love are like helpless domesticated canines, what better can one expect from a film that is gone to the dogs from the word go.
It actually does much worse in pouring scorn on the distaff side of humanity.
The character played by Kartik Aaryan, when things begin to go out of the control of the cocky boys, launches into a monologue enumerating the many disruptive frailties of women.
Coming from a guy who uses his mobile phone to secretly record a conversation between his girlfriend and her flat-mates and then plays it back to them to claim victimhood, the misogynistic tirade is as misplaced as anything else in the film.
Nothing in Pyaar Ka Punchnama is more grating than what is sought to be passed off as acting.
The cast members should have been put through a crash course on how not to go overboard and fall over each other when the camera is switched on.
The worst offender on this count is the over-enthusiastic Nushrat Bharucha, who hams away to glory.
About the only relatively likeable performance is delivered by Sunny Singh, who plays the boy who is reduced to running errands for the girl who has him in her thrall.
But not all the pyaar in the world can compensate for the pea-brained piffle the film dumps on the audience.