The makers of Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty might have decided to keep it simple, classy and play safe from the word go. The romance drama brings together two people with different outlooks on relationships, marriage and parenthood, laced with a lot of humour, some of which is smart and some of it just basic. The lead actors — Naveen Polishetty with his impeccable comic timing and Anushka Shetty who is all poise — make the film with a predictable story reasonably enjoyable.
Anvita Shetty (Anushka Shetty) is a masterchef who moves to Hyderabad from the UK after a turn of events. Everything around her is of restrained classiness, just like the perfectly plated dishes from her kitchen. To borrow from a stand-up comedy line that comes elsewhere in the film, her world is like the roasted aubergine delicately topped with spices as against the greasy, spicy vankaya (brinjal) bajji that Sidhu Polishetty (Naveen Polishetty) is habituated to.
Director Mahesh Babu’s story makes the two cross paths in a ‘what if’ situation. She is shy of romance and marriage but wants to become a mother to fill the void in her life. She is on the lookout for a sperm donor with likeable character traits. He is one of the several guys we would have seen around us — studied engineering, has a boring IT job and finds happiness in an art form. In Sidhu’s case, it is stand-up comedy.
Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty (Telugu)
Cast: Naveen Polishetty, Anushka Shetty, Murali Sharma, Tulasi
Direction: P. Mahesh Babu
Storyline: A stand-up comic and a chef who have divergent views of marriage, parenthood and relationships cross paths.
Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty primarily focuses on Anvita, Sidhu and their contrasting ideas about relationships with a subplot that roots for stand-up comedy. Naveen Polishetty’s flair for humour is on full display and he makes even some of the weakly-written segments seem fun. The film perks up after his entry and the humorous lines keep coming at regular intervals, when he is talking to his parents (Murali Sharma and Tulasi), his colleagues or to Anvita. Some jokes seem to have been rehashed from stand-up comic events but he makes them work.
Once the two characters are established, we know the trajectory of the story. The makers stick to the tried and tested template of miscommunication, confusion and resolution. The sheer predictability is a letdown and added to that, the lack of emotional depth. For instance, while the reason for Anvita shying away from relationships is spelt out, we never truly understand its gravity. The age gap between the two leads is also explored at a superfluous level. Why the age gap is significant or what difference would it have made had she not been older than him, is never really explored. All this keeps us from rooting for their characters.
Before the final portion explores love and longing, a lot of double entendre is deployed in the name of fun. The final stretch redeems the lack of emotional depth in the earlier portions to an extent. Naveen Polishetty shifts gears with ease when he derives humour from the pathos of his character. Anushka remains all poise and grace with a restrained portrayal.
Appreciably, the characters played by Murali Sharma and Tulasi are non-melodramatic and avoid the cliche of how parents with a traditional mindset might react to an unlikely romance.
Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty has its fun moments but offers nothing more.