Sunday, November 19, 2017
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Bollywood Opening: 'Hasee Toh Phasee'

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A week before Valentine's Day comes a lightning-paced romance with a puzzling title to match: Hasee Toh Phasee, which translates into "She Smiles, then She's Caught."

Chiseled cutie Sidharth Malhotra and boldly quirky Parineeti Chopra star as "senti" (slang for overly emotional) Nikhil and "mental" Meeta — adjectives that when paired sum up most movies from Dharma Productions. He's oxygen, she's double hydrogen, she says — their chemistry is water. Not exactly the most inspiring of romantic descriptors. But this couple seems the epitome of wild young love, complete with drinking, dancing and just being general oddballs. If that isn't crazy enough, both big over-the-top families are also somehow involved in high jinks with folks falling in pools, climbing barbed-wire fences and carrying someone kicking and screaming out of a wedding.

Vinil Mathew is making his debut as a director, but producers Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap are known for directing hits on opposite ends of the spectrum: Johar for melodramatic "cotton candy" romance, Kashyap for dark, thoughtful pieces. How that odd couple will shake out is anyone's guess.

Hasee Toh Phasee, with subtitles, opens Friday at AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa.

Caitlin E. O'Conner, Times staff writer

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