A man falls in love with his brother's fianc?e.? This incredibly tangled romantic triangle has been done in Hollywood films like Dan in Real Life and the 1987 Oscar-winning comedy Moonstruck.?
Director Onir gives it a Bollywood twist in Sorry Bhai, in which a sweet, bumbling scientist Siddharth, played by Sharman Joshi, travels to Mauritius to attend his brother's wedding and ends up falling in love and in bed with his brother's fianc?e Aaliyah, played by Chitrangda Singh.?
Their overbearing mother, played perfectly by Shabana Azmi and their gruffly affectionate father, played by Boman Irani who redeems himself after last week's hamfest in Yuvraaj, try and sort out this familial mess.
Sorry Bhai begins promisingly.? Onir sets up the dynamics of this sweetly eccentric family.? When Siddharth comes back after a failed para-physics presentation in which he tries to prove that we can attract non-living things by making a wooden dog move, mom casually asks: Tumhara kuta uda??
The humor is smooth and unobtrusive.? But as life and love start to get complicated, Onir's deft direction becomes more leaden.? He isn't helped by the script, which is lean, in the most critical areas like the characterisation of the brother Harsh, played by Sanjay Suri.?
We never get a sense of him apart from the fact that he is career-driven to a fault.? Aliyah is even more threadbare - we know she likes films and reading but other than that the mysterious ways of her heart and why she suddenly becomes almost? vixen-like in her chase of her fiancee's brother, remain mysterious.??
In fact the liveliest and best-written relationship here is not of the three protagonists but the parents. They are funny and charming.?
The actors add some heft to the skimpy script. Sharman Joshi is wonderful as the hapless bumbler, bewildered by his own emotions. Chitrangada is sufficiently alluring.? She carries the breezy scenes well but is shaky when the narrative requires more complicated emotions.?
Their love-making scene is especially clumsy and passion-less.? Eventually then, Sorry Bhai is just about average fare.? See it if you have nothing else going on this weekend.