I confess when I first saw Bunty I Love You (2014) I couldn’t help but dismiss it as another tale of a tanha, akayli, khoobsurat ladki from a less privileged background married to a wealthy, khadoos, and zalim bhooda. Little did I know I was in for a surprise! But the surprise didn’t roll around till the end of this episode.
The story, from what I can gather, revolves around the very stunning Mrs. Dania Patel (Saba Qamar), Mr. Patel’s second and much younger wife. The opening sequence ushers us into a smog-filled discotheque circa 1985 or some such version of a nightclub (side note: why are our nightclubs always so smokey?!) as we’re quickly introduced to our femme fatale in a simple white sari dancing with awkward reservation. Enter handsome stranger (Azfar Rehman) who’s smitten by our dance-floor devi. The creepy part, I find, is her husband and his lecherous friends ogling as she politely tries to get away from the above-mentioned handsome stranger. Of course, as soon as this transpires Mr. Patel’s inner mard is awakened and he hastens to his wife’s rescue. Up until now I thought that this was another young guy, old guy, forced marriage story but things begin to change as our couple heads home.
This is no happily ever after story between Mr. and Mrs. Patel (and is Patel a common surname in Pakistan?). Apart from the age difference there’s the unspoken question about their positions in life (obviously his being higher than hers), the at best contrived and strained relationship between them, and a sense of mystery around everything from the aleeshan mansion to the mulazims and even the very strenuous familial ties.
Our leading pair lacks chemistry and that’s evident from Dania’s “My husband will kill you”. Sadly, Mr. Patel’s subtle interjection that he hoped it would have been “I will kill you” falls on deaf ears. Their odd relationship becomes odder when we discover that Mr. Patel recorded Dania’s fiancé accepting money to abandon her, but that’s way down at the end of the episode. Talk about putting technology to good use, eh?
The plot enters a third twist with Mr. Patel’s elder son arriving to speak with his father. The emotionless butler, one of Dania’s minions it seems (and why is it always the butler?!), informs his mistress of this development whereby a rather seductively dressed Mrs. Patel curtly informs chottay sarakar that abuji is sleeping. Not one to mince words with his step-mother, one who’s the same age as him to boot, Sherhyar manages to stay put till Mr. Patel makes his entry! Kahani ka agla twist, ji haan, wasiyatnama taiyar ho raha hai, tabhi to beta baap say himayat karnay aaya hai.
For me, I think, this episode was all about the will and what Dania will inherit along with the stress that will cause amongst the survivors. Herein we see that Patel and Dania share an oddly comfortable relationship even though it lacks what one would call sizzle, after all she married him when she was only 17 (and he 60!). Their first conversation functions as a juxtaposition to the one that follows. Here Patel is pouring his heart out to Dania who does not feel the same way about her husband. The next sequence brings us to that, of course, with a customary stop by the lawyer.
The lawyer is definitely a creepy man. Not only is he one of the oglers he's also Patel's friend, which makes me wonder what kind of company the man keeps but daafa karo. We'll be seeing more of him, sadly, at least for the near future. Waise had it not been for the wasiyatnama I would not have been able to figure out that we were in Karachi (thank you plots in Clifton!). Also, since we are at the will, who is Abdul Samad? The butler? Who else has access to the house? Hmmm... I wonder. And there's a bearish scene too albeit only through our sensory abilities. For once we were spared the delights of the actress getting wet for no rhyme or reason.
Up next: truth time. Something tells me Patel was always aware of Dania's compromise but not of her feeling for her ex-fiancé, though, I did not like how Patel records his interaction with said fiancé. What are we in high school? But of course the narrative must continue and we are shown a man quickly relinquishing his mohabbat for a visa to Canada and some two odd crores (Visa lain a itna aasan hai Patel sahib?!). As the video draws to a close we are left with a dead Patel, a shattered Dania, and a trailer of perhaps what got me hooked to Bunty I Love You (but I'll save that for the best review).
Until then, shaba khair and raab rakha!