Rom con Ricky Bahl fells his Ladies but fails to surprise his audience

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By PRIYANKA ROY
  • Published 10.12.11
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Conning women is a way of life for Ricky Bahl. He can be Sunny Singh, a smartass gym instructor in Delhi. And Iqbal Khan, a shy cloth artisan in Lucknow. Or Deven Shah, a cocky Mumbai-based art gallery owner.

Ricky Bahl is a smooth talker and a smoother operator. Women fall for his sexy charm and their families for his boy-next-door attitude. Wherever he goes, Ricky Bahl walks away with crores in his bank account, leaving behind scores of disgruntled women. In 15 years, he has duped 30 women… and counting.

Till the time three of the gullible 30 decide to join forces and con him back. Dimple Chaddha (Parineeti Chopra) wants to get back at him for his false promises of love, Raina Parulekar (Dipannita Sharma Atwal) is seething having lost her job after being sold a fake Husain artwork, and Saira Rashid (Aditi Sharma) is on a mission to recover her father-in-law’s hard-earned money siphoned off by Ricky in the name of a business transaction. They hire the services of Ishika Desai (Anushka Sharma), a street-smart and sassy saleswoman, to pose as a billionaire heiress and beat Ricky Bahl at his own game.

Borrowed generously from John Tucker Must Die, in which three schoolgirls get together to get even with the guy who is three-timing them, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl — penned by Aditya Chopra and directed by Maneesh Sharma — is a decent one-time watch. Sadly so, because Maneesh, who had debuted with the exciting Band Baaja Baaraat, keeps it too simple and straight this time. Ricky Bahl and his girls don’t test your patience, but they also don’t tease your grey cells.

If the first half is a series of vignettes that show Ricky pulling off one con job after another, most of Half Two — set in Goa — is breezy, with Ricky and the girls pulling out all the stops to out-con each other. The three-member team picks up locally tailored clothes and pastes Gucci-Prada labels on them; he sells them a piece of land at 30 times the price.

In a way, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is a delightful Goa travelogue, with the flea markets and beach bashes, the yacht parties and colourful eateries.

The fun and froth grinds to a halt once romance sets in. Though the spark between Ranveer and Anushka is palpable — they kiss not once, but twice — this romance lacks the explosive earthy chemistry of Band Baaja Baaraat.

Predictability is another downer — unlike Band Baaja Baaraat, the feel-good, slice-of-life rom com that the same team had come up with around this time last year — Ladies vs Ricky Bahl springs no surprises. Music men Salim-Sulaiman are also unable to recreate the magic of the 2010 surprise hit — Aadat se majboor is the only track worth humming in this mediocre album.

For consolation, there’s Ranveer’s taut triceps and Anushka’s fab abs. If his eight pack has the women swooning, her curves accentuated by an itsy-bitsy bikini will surely make some male viewers run back for a re-watch. That naughty twinkle in Ranveer’s eyes also works its charm, every time.

Among Ricky’s ladies, debutante Parineeti almost steals the show from Anushka. As a spoilt and nouveau-riche Delhi girl who flashes a bling phone, lives in a gold-coloured mansion and cribs about not having much “cleavage-sheavage” to show off, Parineeti is a natural. Watch out cousin Priyanka Chopra, you’ve got competition at home!

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