I had cherished the Marathi original Mumbai Pune Mumbai (MPM) a tale of two distinct personalities representing major cities of Maharashtra, a reluctant lady from Mumbai visiting a Pune guy whom she hopes to marry. Pune is a short train ride and hence the title of the movie from the Indian Railways’ name panel. Shot entirely in Pune the highlight about MPM was its cast of 2 seasoned actors Mukta Barve and Swapnil Joshi, with Joshi’s flawless enactment of the Puneri accent and his explanation of the steadfast Puneri Baana to a suave metro girl Barve who’s just as proud about her liberal Bombay antecedents as the man could have ever imagined resulting in a mind-blowing account of repartees. Importantly, the simple script through the eyes of the protagonists acquaints you to Pune’s Maharashtrian middle-class culture & sunny locales on a day’s trip. This film checked all my boxes for a good entertaining romantic comedy including its well-deserving sequel Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2. Then, Bollywood got into the mix and engaged the original writer/director Satish Rajwade to make an urbane Hindi adventure which unfortunately lost its way and failed miserably to do justice to the original.
So instead of a train, Pia takes a flight to Delhi and literally lands in an argument with a local upsetting her. From there onwards she becomes cacophonic, that seething rage of displeasure with Dilliwaalahs displayed with incessant shouting & heckling of her helpful partner. The character’s persona is so amateurish that she gets needlessly offended by ‘Goli’ her Delhi mate and vice versa much to my exasperation. But, it was her constant rebuttals & conversations starting with “Boss…Boss” that made me wonder if the swank Pia is indeed the correct personification of the city’s elegant diaspora. To make matters worse, the mellifluous Marathi song of ‘Kadhi Tu’ returned in an uninspiring avatar called ‘Tham Sa Gaya’. Skip this one by all means, but you don’t want to skip the original.