Ajay Pannalal’s “Behen Hogi Teri” begins with the premise that the biggest threat to love in India is rakhi, the thread Hindu women tie around the wrists of their brothers. Every year on Raksha Bandhan festival, young men run scared, hoping they don’t get the sacred thread from the object of their admiration. One of the first scenes in the film has family members forcing their daughter to tie a rakhi on the man she loves, thus putting an end to any thoughts of marriage between the two.
Thankfully, both for the characters and the audience, the film gets past its awkward beginning and things begin to look up. Gattu (Rajkummar Rao) is in love with his neighbour Binny (Shruti Hassan). But he’s too shy – first to confess to her, and later to tell their families. A series of misunderstandings coupled with Gattu’s reluctance to own up to their relationship leads to many a funny situation.
Thanks to those misunderstandings, rumours swirl about Binny’s alleged dalliances, and her brother wants to see her married off as soon as possible. Their failure to see Gattu as anything but the neighbour’s son means our hero finds himself entrusted with guarding the woman he wants to marry while her family searches for a groom.
Even though there is enough slapstick comedy in the film, the real humour comes from writer Vinit Vyas’ gentle observations of the motley group of characters that make up this film. From Gattu’s earnest father (Darshan Jariwala) to his loyal friend Bhura (played wonderfully by Herry Tangiri), Vyas and Pannalal manage to infuse smart lines and lots of wry wit into their story.
Jariwala, Rao and Tangri have some of the best lines in the film, and they deliver them with deadpan precision. The scene where a drunken Rao berates Bollywood heroes and blames them for his messy love life is wonderfully done, as are scenes between him and Tangri.
Soon enough though, the jokes run dry and the story, which is flimsy anyway, feels over-stretched. In the midst of what is a very good ensemble cast, Haasan stands out like a sore thumb. She is horribly miscast and unable to pull off neither the humour nor any chemistry with Rao.
The romance in this romantic comedy is non-existent, but thankfully the wit and sparkle in the humour make it a fun watch.