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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Namaste England Movie Review: The India-UK Crossover Doesn’t Work This Time

Namaste England is a story of Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) and Param (Arjun Kapoor), a married couple in Punjab.

Suffocated by the mediocre and patriarchal life there, Jasmeet decides to go to London in order to pursue a better lifestyle.

Param goes after his wife to England, under all circumstances, to win her back. But will he be successful?

The movie is not a sequel to Namastey London. But going by the trailers, there are expectations of a similar fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.

Plus, it marks the return of Vipul Amrutlal Shah as a director after a decade, that too starring the much-loved pairing of Arjun and Parineeti.

There is a lot of promise which has been met with a lot of negative views. Now, Filme Shilmy gives our final verdict.

Namaste England’s Socially Relevant Premise?

To begin with, Namaste England’s premise is interesting since it tackles issues such as chauvinism and illegal immigration.

Both of these issues that the film addresses are relevant to today’s society.

Lines like “We dream to travel abroad for a fancy lifestyle. Not for food” are quite thought-provoking.

However, the issue is with the half-baked plot… Let me explain in a bit more detail.

Jasmeet, who is already married to Param wishes to run away to England due to her orthodox grandfather.

But rather than fiercely fighting for her dreams, she fakes a marriage to an affluent British-Asian bloke to get a UK Residency Visa.

Param illegally travels to London in order to get his wife back.

From the first instance, this plot is reminiscent of movies like Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Half-Girlfriend.

It would’ve been interesting to see both Jasmeet and Param to illegally travel together to London.

Instead, the writers try to emulate Namastey London with the male protagonist chasing his love interest to a foreign country.

Consequently, the film does not entertain and the forced comedy gets cringe-worthy at times!

Parineeti Chopra’s Character Jasmeet

As such, Jasmeet’s character is a misrepresentation of how a typical 21st-century girl is.

During an era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, we see the female protagonist portrayed in a passé and weak way.

Instead of fighting back the orthodox grandfather who stops her from living her dreams, she somewhat tolerates it and decided to take the wrong method.

Surely, we deserve to see a better representation of an ambitious, hard-working and strong woman.

Even though she’s a small-town-girl, we see glimpses of Jasmeet being smart/savvy and yet she comes across as desperate, childish and almost brattish.

The writing of this character lacks clarity.

Vipul Amrutlal Shah as a Director

Though Namaste England moves at a decent pace, the film lacks zest. This could be due to the weak direction.

But more than that there are quite a few loopholes.

For instance, we see Param gets to London illegally during the ‘Tu Meri Main Tera Song’.

This I feel is a pivotal & interesting aspect of the film, which needed to be showcased more.

He seems to get through to London quite swiftly, which is quite larger-than-life given that immigration here in Britain has become quite tough of recent.

Also, there is a sequence of how Jasmeet’s hoax husband tells her to revamp herself. He even offers to pay for expenses.

We subsequently see her paying for designer clothes… How could she afford this when she is not even working?

Furthermore, there is a launch of a high-profile Indian restaurant, before the ‘Bhare Bazaar’ track.

Given that this is a high-profile event with so-called socialites, how does Param get in so easily?

All of these direction gaps minimise the realistic appeal of the movie.

Performances of Arjun Kapoor & Parineeti Chopra

Unfortunately, the lacklustre direction also impacts the performances.

Though Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra try their best, the chemistry between them lacks heavily.

They both set the screen on fire together in Ishaqzaade but here they seem lost.

I believe that the reason for them being lost is due to the frail direction and script. It’s a shame because both are talented actors and deserve better.

Comedian Mallika Dua is seen in a brief role as an NRI. She nails the British accent and is good, but wasted in this film.

Final Word

On the whole, Namaste England is a missed opportunity.

The movie could’ve been a socially relevant and entertaining film, but has turned out to be a dull fare.  

It’s quite sad because this could’ve easily been amongst 2018’s best Bollywood films.

⭐⭐ (2/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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