The romantic comedy film ‘Shaandaar’ has been directed by Vikas Bahl. The film stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Pankaj Kapur, Nikki Aneja, Sanah Kapur, Sanjay Kapoor and Sushma Seth. Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane have co-produced the film. ‘Shaandaar’ has been promoted as India’s first destination wedding.

The film is supposed to be a fairy-tale romance in the backdrop of fairy-tale weddin. And the location of the grand wedding is a beautiful castle in the English countryside where the families of both bride and groom descend to unleash the madness and mayhem.  

‘Shaandaar’ opens with Nasseruddin Shah’s voice introducing the primary characters of the movie, accompanied with some animation sequence. Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapur) is an affluent businessman who tries to appear tough but is actually meek. He has a belligerent old woman for Mummyji (Sushma Seth) who is cunning personified and knows nothing but money. He has two daughters – Isha (Sanah) and Alia (Alia Bhatt). Alia is his adopted child who is extremely spirited and intelligent, but suffers from sleeplessness or insomnia that she hasn’t slept well for the past 25 years. Bipin loves Alia dearly and he is protective of her. However, his ambitious wife (Nikki Aneja) and Mummyji hate the girl.

The Arora family is cash-strapped, so the matriarch of the family decides to get her elder granddaughter Isha married to Robin Fundwani, son of a filthy rich Sindhi tycoon Harry Fundwani (Sanjay Kapoor). The Fundwanis are so rich that they flash gold-plated guns and travel in gold-painted limos. The wedding is actually a ‘business deal’ for the Aroras to save themselves from going bankrupt.

A charaismatic wedding planner Jagjinder Joginder aka JJ (Shahid Kapoor) is hired to plan the grand wedding. Co-incidentally, JJ also suffers from insomnia and thus bonds with Alia over their common trouble of sleeplessness and not being able to dream. So, in the backdrop of the big fat wedding blossom a dreamy romance between Alia and JJ, who spend their sleepless nights going for midnight swims, horse-riding and enjoying each others’ company.   

Shahid and Alia make for a lovely pair and their on screen chemistry is fantastic. Shahid’s constant sparring with Alia’s onscreen father Pankaj Kapur was fun. Alia fits into her character perfectly while Shahid has also given a good performance. Pankaj Kapur and Sushma Seth are talented actors and both have been great with their respective roles. Sanah in her debut film was confident as the overweight girl.

The grandeur of the movie, the breathtaking locations and lush green yards were all a perfect setting for a romantic film, but the story was not up to the mark. The film has been marred by an unimaginative story and long drawn sequences and dull screenplays.

Vikas Bahl who had earlier directed brilliant films like ‘Chillar Party’ and ‘Queen’ was at least able to bring out quality performance from his actors and display visual flamboyance.