'P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar' Review: Engaging film about a pressing social issue

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Manoj Tiwari’s P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar revolves around two high-school students, Suraj Maali and Janvi Singh, who fall in love despite coming from very different socio-economic backgrounds. Their declaration of love is not acceptable to Janvi’s ruthless father, Omveer Singh, who looks down upon Suraj’s backward cast. When Suraj and Janvi decide to elope, all hell breaks loose as Omveer and his goons come after them with all their might. The only thing that matters to Omveer is his so called honor and he is willing to crush everything that comes in his way even if it is his own daughter. P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar, written by Vishal Vijay Kumar, serves as a reminder of the deep-seated caste system that continues to plague our society till date.

The evil of honor killing has been prevalent in India since time immemorial but owing to various socio-political pressures the issue for the longest time failed to get the kind of media attention it deserved. But it all changed with the infamous Manoj-Babli case of 2007. The honor killing of newlyweds Manoj Banwala and Babli was ordered by Khap Panchayat, a religious caste-based council among Jats, in the Kaithal district of Haryana. The five perpetrators were given death sentence for honor killing in a landmark judgment.
As far as cinematic depiction of the evil practice of honor killing is concerned it was mostly limited to non-fiction at first but a lot has changed in recent times. While Navdeep Singh’s NH10 was one of the first major Indian films to focus on the subject of honor killing, it was Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat that endeavored to delve deep into the complexities of the issue. Every time one thinks about honor killing there are a lot of questions that come to mind. Why do people get so enraged that they become hell-bent on killing their own kin in the name of guarding honor? What makes them get the support of their community for something as heinous as honor killing? Why the fear of law doesn’t deter them?
P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar stars the newcomer Bhavesh Kumar in the role of Suraj. The six and half feet tall actor is a real life athlete who has participated in Discus throw, Shooting, and Baseball at the National level. Interestingly, the 19-year-old actor plays a Javelin thrower in the film. He was spotted by the team of P Se Pyaar F Se Farraar during a casting hunt. His casting as Suraj proves to be an inspired choice as he succeeds in making Suraj believable. It’s really heartening to see a young actor looking quite comfortable in the presence of veterans like Kumud Mishra, Jimmy Sheirgill, Sanjay Mishra, and Girish Kulkarni, who all are brilliant in their respective roles. P Se Pyaar F Se Faraar makes for an engaging viewing for the most part but it occasionally suffers from uneven pacing and loose writing. However, the film’s greatest strength is that it succeeds in delivering an important message without being preachy.
Rating: 7/10

A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian

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