[*** stars / *****]
Jaya (Parvathy), a 35-year-old single woman meets the older Yogi (Irrfan Khan) on an online dating website.
In the tradition of romcoms, man and woman meet, clash, travel, clash, clash, clatter, meet the man's ex-lovers, travel, have a cathartic moment, clash, clatter, clash, travel, realization dawns, the end.
If Tanaju Chandra's Qarib Qarib Singlle doesn't go the irritatingly tiresome, similarly themed, Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) way, it is largely because of its great lead casting and their performances.
Irrfan Khan again crackles in brilliance in making an underwritten role work at so many levels. Parvathy, a Malayalam film regular, is the x-factor here, playing a dull, stagnant, evasive, troubled and uniquely engaging character.
The story offers nothing much in freshness. The central premise is flimsy and potato-wafer thin. Yet there is a tangled breeziness to the proceedings. Irrfan and Parvathy make every scene together come alive. The couple's varied dynamics gives the film a genuine 'opposites attract' feel to it.
Somewhere between the conversations is the hidden unwoven literature that this film could have been (the double "ll" in "Singlle" take, among other touches).
The dour end doesn't help, but Qarib Qarib Singlle has enough laughs and moments to be a good three-stars-out-of-five watch at the movies.