50-year-old businessman Ashish (Ajay Devgn) finds love in a 26-year-old Ayesha (Rakul Preet Singh) and takes her home to meet his family. What awaits him during this surprise visit is chaos and tangled family relations he had left behind. Manju (Tabu) is his ex-wife, who is being pursued by a shady tenant, VK (Jimmy Shergill), who customarily has a basket of organic fruits handy.
The premise of the story is simple – A middle-aged man takes a young girl, almost half his age, to meet his family. What ensues is awkward situations between the ex-wife, the family, and the young catch.
But instead of diving right into it, writer Luv Ranjan spends the entire first half in telling us a love story in London about how the couple met. It is a tiring, superfluous first half that could have easily skipped in a couple of scenes. We know where the story will lead from here, so why not cut the chase?
Instead, we spend an entire hour following a dolled-up Ayesha, who is trying too hard to get, while herself chasing the forbidden man. Devgn on the other hand, plays it cool, as he portrays his age and doesn’t put in an extra effort to impress the girl, or us.
The only respite in the first half is Javed Jaffrey as the therapist, who slams down the relationship as an ‘Old man looking for youth and young girl looking for money’ arrangement. But beyond three scenes, he’s gone.
Just when we touch the intermission, the couple is in India and are unwelcomely received by the family. It is at this point that you desperately hope that Tabu will infuse the much-needed spark in the film.
But what we are served instead is a messy family drama – an ever-frowning daughter who doesn’t want her estranged father around as her prospective in-laws come to talk marriage, a love-struck son, and an overbearing father (Alok Nath). The film conveniently strays into this family drama, where the viewer is lost wondering where the film is headed.
Jimmy Shergill is his usual self, playing the side role as VK, mouthing borrowed poetic lines, dressed in floral jackets and clear-framed glasses.
Luv Ranjan’s claim to fame is the ‘Battle of the sexes’ genre and he has successfully created a franchise out of it with the ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ series. He digresses from his comfort space in ‘De De Pyaar De’ to try a family drama-comedy but misses the bull’s eye. Halfway through the film, you get an impression that may be the writer had no story at hand and is just tying all the loose ends.
The movie tries too hard to make us laugh with on-the-face comic punches, that seldom land or miss the point entirely. Unlike his earlier films where he writes and directs, Ranjan has roped in debutant Akiv Ali to direct this time.
A known film editor for over a decade, Akiv does a fab job of putting together a trailer that made the film seem promising but the full-length movie lacks substance. The few comic punches we see in the film are the ones we have already seen in the 2-minute trailer.
Straying away from his films reeking of misogyny in the past, ‘De De Pyaar De’ might be the weakest story Luv Ranjan has brought to us in recent times. Lack of a storyline is hardly compensated by the presence of the stars he managed to get on board.
With a few sprinkled humourous moments, ‘De De Pyaar De’ is a messy family drama you may watch or choose to skip.
Cast: Tabu, Rakul Preet and Ajay Devgn, Javed Jaffrey, Jimmy Shergill
Director: Akiv Ali