A moving tale, supported by fine performances, about a friendship that comes with a price.
This is a film about people trapped by their environment. The underbelly of Bombay, which produces what is known as the ‘tapori’ character, has few escape routes. When misfortune visits, as it does Pinky (Deepika Padukone) when she is knocked down by a car in a hit-and-run case, there is no safety net, no health or social service to speak of. She must rely entirely on the assistance of a few loyal friends, and altruism, too, comes with conditions.
Lafangey Parindey, if you can get over the overdone and grating localisation of Bombay ghetto Hindi, is a film that takes a position on the consequences of immoral actions by placing its central characters, Nandu (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Pinky, in a friendship that is based on a need for accountability. Love does not blossom here by laws of attraction, but by a terrible sense of one friend having done wrong by the other.
Nandu, who boxes for a living, is the driver of the car that knocked Pinky down and permanently disabled her. She is a competitive skate dancer and he is determined to put her back on stage. Unaware of his role in the accident and seeing no conditionality to his actions, she gradually starts to fall in love with him.
The problem is that the urban ambience and the chatter in Lafangey Parindey doesn’t quite work because director Pradeep Sarkar appears unfamiliar with the dialect he is working with. He gives you stereotypical supporting characters and much hackneyed repartee. Fortunately, he is more sure footed with his central characters and both actors come up with fine performances.
On one end of this movie is the unfairness of fate that disables a woman in her prime. On the other is the conscience of a man who seeks to make amends when the nature of her disability makes that impossible. A very sad film.