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‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’: celebrating love in the middle ages

If there’s one thing Bollywood has done exceedingly well in its’ 99-year history, it is sticking to convention.

Whether it’s an actor stepping behind the camera to give directing or producing a shot before entering the Rajya Sabha or filmmakers ceaselessly rejigging the same hackneyed storylines with ever more ludicrous garnishes.

The tide however, seems to be turning.  

2012 alone has seen a number of slaps in the face of Bollywood convention.  

Gangs of Wasseypur entertained with not a shred of fantasy for a full 8 hours.  And ‘Vicky Donor’ kept audiences enraptured with the gauche-in-India topic of sperm donation.

And now Sanjay Leela Bhansali is bringing the even more awkward topic of middle-age relationships to the forefront with his latest production ‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’.

Directed by Bela Bhansali Sehgal – sister of Sanjay – the film also marks the acting debut of Farah Khan, the feminine tour-de-force behind such monster – not to mention soullessly conventional – hits as ‘Main Hoon Na’, ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Tees Maar Khan’.

Khan plays Shirin Fugawala, a voluptuosly-proportioned 40-year-old secretary searching for the man of her dreams.

Shirin’s quest brings her into the path of Farhad Pastakiya – played by the irrepressible and immensely funny Boman Irani – a generously-proportioned fellow middle-ager who’s hopeless in love in spite of being a lingerie salesman.

The story follows the two hapless lovebirds as they attempt to overcome difficult mothers and the rules of first and second base; all to hilarious effect of course.

‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’ is released 24th August.

–    Poonam Joshi

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