Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) – Review

BY RUBY CHINGU (who is already smiling like a madwoman…)

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Director – Maneesh Sharma

Writer – Jaideep Sahni

After spending many hours watching intense political thrillers like Madras Cafe and D-Day, Shuddh Desi Romance came into my life like an aromatic cup of Starbucks coffee in the morning – strong, awakening and just beautiful. My face muscles were so exhausted as I could not stop smiling and gushing over the story for the whole two and half hours.

Set in a small colourful town of Jaipur, Shuddh Desi Romance (Pure Desi Romance) is about the desires, love, lust but mostly confusions of charming young man with a heavenly smirk  named  Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput). Trapped between his modern carefree personality and the traditional Indian ‘mating/wedding’ culture, Raghu thought he had always wanted to get married. He agreed to an arranged married, only to chicken out later, leaving the girl at the altar. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is only the beginning.

The core themes of the film are many – one of them is the relevancy of marriage (or any institutionalized culture) in any consensual love relationships. Our character, Raghu is a man who believes in love, attraction, devotion etc etc. It is only marriage that he is uncomfortable about and the big mysterious responsibility around it. He is not really commitment-phobic. Marriage-phobic might be the most accurate description. When he met Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra), an independent brutally honest girl, he fell head over heels with her. After a few days dating her, he left his house and moved into her flat. Clingy, much? Or maybe he was just being optimistically endearing.

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Inevitably, there is always this assumption that couples who are in a stable relationship MUST be in want of a marriage. Surely, they would want to ‘legitimize’ their union, whatever that means. However, what if there are certain people who are comfortable the way they are? What if marriage is not exactly their thing? It may happen to some. Nevertheless, most have to conform to the entrenched culture of marriages, only to doubt their decisions.

Raghu and Gayatri’s relationship was somehow ruined by the thoughts that they should get married when it was obvious that both of them did not really believe in weddings, what more marriage. After being dumped by Gayatri, Raghu started dating Tara (Vaani Kapoor), his ex-fiancee and was quite happy with her to the extent that he planned to propose to her. Again, in a classic Raghu style, he had doubts again. Should he or should he not get married?

Right before the proposal, he encountered Gayatri again and realized that amidst the up and downs of their past relationship, he had always loved her. Tara ended things with him and Raghu reunited with our heroine. Three days later, they had a wedding, only to run away from it as well – yup, both of them.

So, what exactly is the problem here? Not our Raghu and Gayatri but the wedding itself. Why is it always there, haunting and chasing our main couple like a parasite? Not trying to sound pessimistic or anti-marriage here but I love the ending where both of them decided that they would be together despite not being ready for marriage. So what? I love you, you love me. I am not ready to get married. So are you. Where does the need to get married comes from?

Who knows. What I do know that this film is a love story and love wins in the end.

Why should you watch the film?

The plot. It is not a conventional love story. It is a refreshing and very different interpretation of romance. Instead of naming it Shuddh Desi Romance, it should be called Unique Modern vs. Traditional Romance instead. Raghu’s journey to discovering his true position about the whole wedding marriage thing is entertaining. It was obvious from the beginning of the film that he had commitment issues but it was not until the end that he was aware of them. Haish, so innocent…..

The excellent cinematography. The main reason why the film is very enjoyable. Contrasting vibrant colours. Colours, colours and more colours.

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Great couple dynamic. The chemistry between Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra as Raghu and Gayatri captured me within ten minutes. One is an awkward people-pleasing guy, another is a brutally honest independent girl who smoked the first time our hero met her.

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He’s the emotional sweet boyfriend, she’s the clear-headed rational girlfriend. He was optimistically foolish about what he wants in his life and she was pessimistically realistic about the nature of their relationship. One thing they share in common is that they love and can’t get enough of each other. All those elements make the couple so addictive to watch.

A likable second heroine with a strong character. Tara, Raghu’s girlfriend after Gayatri, and Raghu were genuinely attracted to each other. However, she always knew that Raghu’s a bit of a confused person and their relationship would not last long.

Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) - BDRip - XviD - 1CDRip - [DDR].avi_004636708Nevertheless, it was surprisingly sweet while it lasted, though my heart will always belong to the Raghu-Gayatri couple.

The soundtrack. The song Gulabi. Need I say more? (Though I do wish they make a music video of the song featuring Raghu and Gayatri instead of Tara.)

Shuddh Desi Romance is a beautiful story even with an unconventional storyline. Most importantly, it makes an audience like me go through a whirlwind of emotions – happiness, nervousness, sadness, confusions – as it led me into an unpredictable confusing journey of being a young person in love.

I am so fucking happy and grateful to the Mr Sahni who wrote the story . Mr Sahni, I love you! *sobs* *mentally touching your feet as a sign of respect*



May I just fucking say… Sushant Singh Rajput. Hai Allah, save me please… was phrase I uttered most as I was trying to keep myself sane as I watched his acting in this film. Raghu is always attracted to dominant opinionated women. Always a people-pleaser, he often tries to make his lover happy. Exactly my type of man. *cries* He’s so perfect.

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Damn, I’m so happy! Please God there are more films like this to come…