Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy
Producers: Giju Jon and Sandeep Mohan
Director: Sandeep Mohan
Cast: Karanveer Khullar, Gillian Pinto, Khushboo Upadhyay, Salmin Sheriff, Ashwin Mushran and the dog Hermione
Platform: Theatrical Release
By Jyothi Venkatesh
This one is a small budget film which is a roller coaster ride which sets out to explore the various nuances of an urban relationship. The film revolves around an urban middle-class family in Mumbai who finds it hard to get their life back on track after the disappearance of their beloved pet dog from their life. Without the soothing balm of their puppy in their busy and mundane city life, minor irritants that were hitherto ignored in their relationship now begin to crop up intermittently and act up threatening the very foundation of their marriage.
Incidentally, it is worth noting that this is Sandeep Mohan’s fourth film after Love, Wrinkle-free (2011), Hola Venky (2014) and Shreelancer (2017). Set in Mumbai, ‘Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy’ sets out to delve into the complexities that lie beneath the mundane emptiness of Nirmal and Sarah’s daily lives. To put it in a nutshell, the plot revolves around the lives of Nirmal Anand (Karanveer Khullar), an anti-diabetic drug salesman, and his Christian wife Sarah (Gillian Pinto). Two back-to-back events—Nirmal getting diagnosed with diabetes and the untimely and sudden death of his pet dog (Parie)—have a profound impact on this close-knit family, almost causing them to react in unexpected ways.
Given that Nirmal as a regional manager for a pharmaceutical company that sells anti-diabetic drugs is diagnosed with diabetes has a particularly negative impact on him. While coping with the situation and the death of his dog, he makes a significant career shift that alters the dynamics of his personal and professional lives in a bizarre manner making his world topsy turvy.
However, to his chagrin, an independent filmmaker (Salmin Sheriff) offers him a chance to explore his acting potential by acting in his film. Nirmal reluctantly agrees but a scene in the film involving a kiss [puppy] that creates more problems in his life. It is this pappi that forms part of the title Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy and not the pet dog. Khushboo Upadhyay [of Jaaun Kahan Bata Ae Dil fame] is good as Karanveer Khullar’s co-star and lends a little bit of glamour to the otherwise dull film as it meanders in between, which it starts unfolding slowly and steadily.
I should concede that as Nirmal, Karanveer Khullar gives a very credible as well as decent performance. He gets into the skin of his character, and that too effortlessly with ease and his expressions and body language reveal what he’s going through. Gillian Pinto who plays his wife Sarah also effortlessly conveys the emotions of a mother, a responsible as well as pregnant wife, who is also at the same time a working woman. Ashwin Mushran as the boss of Khullar has a just passable role and well he is also err just passable as an actor.
To sum up, all said and done, I’d say that the film Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy is a light-hearted, slice-of-life saga, though the subject turns out to be slightly serious and just for the sake of the inherent sincerity and honestly of the filmmaker; I’d suggest that you go and watch it at a theatre near your house.