‘Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl’ Review
‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’ is a decent entertainer but fails to be anything more thanks to formula storytelling.
Ranveer Singh and Anuskha Sharma previously teamed up for the surprise critical and commercial hit ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ which enchanted audiences in India. Looking to re-create that success again, they both re-team for the ‘rom-con’ film ‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’ which is a decent entertainer but nowhere near as effective as the movie it tries to be.
Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh) is a young lovable guy who does only thing best – make a girl fall in love with him and then con her out of her money before disappearing and doing the same thing to another girl. But his tactics are under risk when a few of the girls he does this to meet up in order to take revenge from him. And revenge comes in the form of a smart female (Anushka Sharma) who the gang hires to go make Ricky fall in love with her and then con him out of his money so that they can get theirs back.
If anyone has seen the teen comedy ‘John Tucker Must Die’ (which wasn’t very good), this is pretty much the same movie with a con angle added to it. The film starts off pretty smart with an elaborate con scheme that Ricky plays on a young Punjabi girl and cons her father out of a lot of money before the title actually appears on screen. It’s a clever though overlong introduction to the character. The same thing repeats with a different girl after the titles and it’s fun to see it play out. The first half of the movie is actually pretty funny and enjoyable to see Ricky fool these girls with his charm and wit. Soon they all realise it’s the same guy doing this to them and decide to gang up on him and teach him a lesson. It’s there when the film takes sort of a nosedive in terms of quality.
The setup is actually brilliant – hiring a girl to con the conman himself is a perfect cinematic setup for a lot of potential comedic moments. But sadly, the script never really executes this too well. Instead of hiring a professional con-woman, they end up hiring a good saleswoman from a furniture store and pay her to con Ricky. While this works, it’s not nearly as juicy as the conflict that would have happened when two professional thieves would be pit against each other. The action of the film then sets to Goa where we get to see the girls’ master plan in action and so far so good. But soon after, the film takes a very cheesy romantic route that goes against what was set before it. Now before this point, the character was set up as a really smart and witty guy who distances himself away from relationships and is always thinking on his feet. All of a sudden, he’s the most stupid person in town who’s actually spending lots of money on a female he barely knows. There is no reason given for this other than the fact that he fell in love with her, which is extremely disappointing. As the film goes on, there are moments that arrive where the filmmakers could have really done something to mine the comedy out of it but instead they settle on a predictable romantic turn that ends exactly the way you think it would. Suddenly, it’s less and less funny and more and more formulaic. It’s still enjoyable to watch once, but there’s literally no repeat value after the first viewing when you know how it’s going to end up.
Ranveer Singh is a lovable and charming actor and it’s easy to see why he’s shot to fame. He’s relatable and commanding when he needs to be without looking too full of himself on screen that many actors nowadays do. This helps with his character which unfortunately doesn’t have much depth of backstory to it but Ranveer makes it a joy to watch. The three girls are playing off mostly stereotypes but do a good job at keeping you entertained, especially the bubbly Punjabi girl who gets some of the best lines of the film. Anushka Sharma comes pretty late into the movie but brings about a jolt of energy. Ranveer and her are truly a great pairing that will continue further movies as well.
‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’ is a decent entertainer if you’re looking for a fun romp but fails to do much else largely because of its aversion to taking risks in the second half and settling for a predictable formula film.