This is the best film generated from the Bollywood genre in years; not a false or silly character; legitimate, recognizable individuals, regardless of ethnicity; it is generational, contemporary and sensationally acted by actors at the pinnacle of their careers.
Anil Kapoor and Shefazi Shah depict “Kamal and Neelam Mehra”, married for thirty years; sparks have long fizzled; replaced by faked, duplicitous facades; Kamal, a foppish flirt, striving, and succeeding, in keeping his trim physique; neglected Neelam, stuck in a stale, frustrating “arranged” marriage finds solace in chocolate éclairs. Their children “Ayeshe” (perfect Priyanka Chopra) owns and operates a successful travel agency, married to a benign “drip”; “Kabir” (Ranveer Singh, phenomenal performance), the son, preordained to run the family corporation; ill-equipped, he finds contentment in piloting the Company plane; cocooned among the silky clouds, he is confident and master of his fate.
Director/co-writer Zoya Akhtar cleverly narrates the story through the “eyes” of “Pluto Mehra” (voice of Aamir Khan) the sage family dog. The Mehras’, celebrate their anniversary by inviting family and close friends on a cruise to Greece and Turkey; a cruise designed by Ayeshe, their accomplished daughter; Kamal has ulterior motives: salvaging his financially “sinking”, company, using Kabir as a bargaining buoy. The film soars with the complexities of dysfunctional marriages; women’s role in an oxymoronic society that has had female heads of state; still anchored to home and family; “mixed” marriages between different castes and religions, divorce; ubiquitous, universal dilemmas.
Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar pulsate in minimal but pivotal roles, agents of cataclysmic developments; Sharma’s magnetic dance number turns the ship on its aft; each member of the “anniversary” ensemble “trip the light fantastic” sailing, starring with dexterity, agility and uniqueness.
“Let Your Heart Beat” shuns a predictable Bollywood formula, gifting a genuine, heart-warming, redemptive scenario; the Mehras’ rise from troubled waters, finding tranquility in a sea of understanding.