Critic’s Rating : / 5
Double XL Movie Review : A promising subject weighed down by cliches and mediocre writing
Double XL Review: Growing up in Meerut, Rajshree Trivedi (Huma Qureshi) has always dreamed of becoming a sports presenter. Pushing 30 and being overweight doesn’t dampen her spirits but her pesky mother constantly badgers her to get married, ‘before it’s too late.’ Saira Khanna (Sonakshi Sinha) on the other hand, seems to be finally getting her life together. She has a boyfriend, a best friend and her dream to launch her own fashion label. She gets a major boost after a leading TV channel approves her idea of shooting a fashion documentary in London. The same network has also shortlisted Rajshri for a potential sports anchoring job. But just when they are all set, their dreams come crashing down as everything that can go wrong, does.
Body shaming is a relevant subject and a much needed societal ill that needs to be addressed. Writer Mudassar Aziz and director Satram Ramani choose their subject and actors wisely, but just like Saira’s fashion documentary, it’s a bit all over the place and drags. The first half is spent in setting up the plot with more unnecessary distractions than Sonakshi Sinha’s lip piercing and stereotypes, played by some character actors, whose performances disappoint. And even when the screenplay progresses, the story doesn’t. It remains a hotchpotch of happy coincidences that make everything look all too easy for the two central characters, whose struggle is supposed to be real. Sample this – they come to a foreign land on an all-expenses paid trip for a film, with a crew that has no clue about what exactly needs to be done. The writing of the film is preachy and repeatedly keeps harping on the same point in different situations that are equally hollow, leaving you with emotions that don’t really touch your heart. This further alienates us from the central premise of the film about body shaming and societal norms that restrict women from living their dreams.
Huma Qureshi’s honest performance is a major saving grace of the film. The actress conveys Rajshri’s struggle through a powerful and emotional portrayal, and also physically transforms herself to slip into the Doule XL part. Sonakshi Sinha’s character on the other hand, is written in a way that it doesn’t invoke much empathy from the audience and despite her best efforts, the actress doesn’t leave the desired impact. Yet, the screenplay is the strongest when the two leading ladies are bouncing off each other. Zaheer Iqbal as the flamboyant and flirtatious Zorawar Rehmani, who insists he is addressed as Zo, Za or Zoo is more annoying than adorable. Debutant Mahat Raghavendra as Srikanth, shows promise. And it’s heartwarming to see veteran character actress Shubha Khote on the big screen after a long time. Alka Kaushal as Rajshri’s paranoid and always angry mother, does a fine job of conveying a middle-aged small town woman’s insecurities and apprehensions. The film’s soundtrack is easily forgettable.
As a concept, Double XL is refreshing and relevant. It sure takes guts on the part of the makers and the actors to weave a story around the subject. However, mediocre writing and average execution scales down the film’s original potential.