By Deepa Gahlot
Mainstream Bollywood cinema of a certain period was happy to throw logic and good taste to the winds, and got scenes written on the sets whenever the stars turned up. Even by those low standards, Namaste England is a dud.
So in a pind in Punjab, Param (Arjun Kapoor) stalks Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) over several festivals—in that state, people seem to do nothing but dance—till she comes up to talk to him. His excuse for this creepy behaviour is: “Ashiq ghoorte nahin, niharte hain.” Whatever!
To facilitate their meeting and allow her to work as a jewellery designer without her conservative grandfather finding out, all her friends call the old man with excuses to invite her over. Eventually, a proposal is made the formal way, and the stern grandpa says yes, provided Jasmeet does not work after marriage.
For some reason, Jasmeet does not think of moving to a big city in India, but gets obsessed with going to London; women in India ostensibly cannot have careers! A friend-turned-foe has such connections that he blocks Param’s visa to every country in the world—even Bangladesh! So Jasmeet has a sham marriage with Sam (Aditya Seal) so that she can go to London on a “marriage visa,” get her residency, then divorce him, go back and fetch Param over!
It can’t get siller than this! While Jasmeet changes into Western outfits and looks after Sam’s ailing grandfather, Param goes to London illegally cutting border wires and hiding in shipping containers. Once there, he decides to have a fake marriage with Alisha (Alankrita Sahai) to make Jasmeet jealous… and so it goes, throwing common sense out of the window along with the law.
After showing that Indians—and the token homesick Pakistani—are basically dishonest and have scant respect for British immigration rules, Param has the temerity to give a lecture on the greatness of India, and predict a future when everyone will want to Indian, because—get this—India sent Mangalayan to Mars at the cost of a rickshaw ride! (What were these guys drinking!)
Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra did their bit to promote this awful movie, and must be fervently wishing it out of their filmography. They should pray, for the sake of their careers, that audiences either don’t watch Namaste England or forget it as soon as they see it!
Directed by: Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Seal, Alankrita Sahai and others
Deepa Gahlot is one of India’s seniormost and best known entertainment journalists. A National Awardwinning film critic, Deepa has watched more movies and theatre than most people in the country. An author of several books on film and theatre, she has had an extremely successful run as head of theatre and film at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, during which she helped nurture several original productions. For Xyngr, Deepa Gahlot reviews theatre and cinema.