Shaandaar has been called as India’s first destination wedding film. It centers a big fat wedding. The noticeable differences in the movie are the rituals that go offshore and the fantastic locations during the complete movie and bursts of hilarity. The director also throws in animated flashback to emphasize the film’s fairy tale impulses. The movie can be called a complete fable story, because it has all the ingredients like an orphan princess trapped in a loveless home, a prince charming who flies in from nowhere, and a cranky old man who dotes on his daughter to the point of distraction. And there of course is a bad-tempered grandmother and a scheming mom who make every effort to make the adopted girl’s life miserable. Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt have delivered very good performance and the unusual chemistry between the two is the main highlight of the film.

Hindustan Times

Director Vikas Bahl’s Shaandaar--promoted as India’s first destination wedding film--relies more on the youthful appeal of its lead actors than a tight screenplay. Sometimes, it pretends to raise an issue, but then shies away from dealing with it. Let me introduce you to the basic premise of the film which mistakes Sindhis for a community of money minded devils. The writers have tried to build-up a good climax, but the story is so predictable and the pressure to sound ‘funny’ is so much that they lose control. Shahid Kapoor is at ease throughout the film. He is the one to watch out for in Shaandaar, but even his inner dilemma surfaces when two consecutive scenes demand him to behave in completely opposite ways. The brat act by Alia fails to impress as there is no depth in her character either. However, Sanah Kapoor looks promising in some scenes. Pankaj Kapur tries to cash in on the curiosity around father-son duo, but all attempts fall short of the objective. Shaandaar tries very hard but it’s not funny. It has moments which will give a glimpse of Vikas Bahl’s talent. It has star power and that is its biggest draw. But not much is shining in Shaandaar.

Rohit Vats

In Shaandaar, the free-wheeling qualities of a modern-day fable meet the flamboyant and filmi flights of a KJo romance. It has all the ingredients of a parable – an orphan princess trapped in a loveless home, a prince charming who flies in from nowhere, and a cranky old man who dotes on his daughter to the point of distraction. Despite the Karan Johar making an appearance to take good-natured digs at his own brand of entertainment, Shaandaar does not shy away from going the whole hog. The two leads – Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt – achieve spontaneous chemistry and Pankaj Kapur holds the balance with restrained flair. Viewed in the context of the film as a whole, that quirky question points to the direction in which Bahl really wants to take Shaandaar. Shaandaar is a fun film that is infused with great charm, which in turn is enhanced by director Bahl’s panache for a light touch, an attribute that was on full show in Queen.While it does not live up to its title as a package, it fulfils much of the expectations that the audience might have from a film produced jointly by Karan Johar on the one hand and Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap on the other.It brings together two different worlds and succeeds in striking a balance between the two. For that, and for much else, Shaandaar deserves hearty ovation. 

Saibal Chatterjee

Shaandaar wastes good actors on bad bubblegum. Shaandaar is director Vikas Bahl’s attempt at harmless, meaningless, utterly frothy cinema, more toffee-making than filmmaking, and he gets a great cast in place and polishes them up with rags made of thousand-rupee notes. This is a movie about bling more than it is a movie about characters or story, and while glamour in itself is a perfectly pleasurable ideal, there isn’t much here besides the shine. It’s an old-school Disney-esque film but sadly without the wit and -- as is more critical when it comes to candy manufacture -- the consistency. The result is bubblegum-Barjatya.

Raja Sen
The Indian Express

What Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt’s ‘Shaandaar’ is trying to do is clear: reinvent beloved fairytales with the help of winsome stars, but ends up being a blinding mix of everything with nothing of its own to boast of.  The film is bloated with excess. Songs dressed up and going nowhere, saying nothing. Costumery may work with other actors, but it's wrong for Alia Bhatt, while Shahid Kapoor suffers from a badly-written character. The only one who leaves an impression in this crowded-yet-slack film is Sanah Kapur, the real-life half-sister of Shahid, who plays a bride being used as part of a ‘deal’ between two business families. There is no ‘Shaan’ in this Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt film.

Shubhra Gupta
The Times of India

Shaandaar has a fun plot. However in his attempt to spoof destination weddings of the bankrupt and the famous, Vikas Bahl, (who also directed that gem, Queen) forgot to take a script along. You can defend the director's indulgence or even forgive him for borrowing Tarantino's Kill-Bill, part-animation, part-live narrative style to tell you the tale of an orphan girl who is given shelter by an affluent businessman, Bipin (Pankaj Kapur). The story-telling attempt is wearisome but plot is ridiculous. If you think this review is incoherent, feel free to blame it on the film. Apart from some LOL jokes when the characters resort to abbreviations like PP (pairi pauna) or FTB (father-of-the-bride), this film serves up trite. Shahid, Pankaj and Sanah (the Kapur khandaan) went along for an all-expenses-paid vacation. And Alia, who saw Queen before she boarded the flight, was none the wiser. Seriously, how was anyone to guess that this is a cruel joke played by Bahl on his investors and perhaps on an unsuspecting audience.

Meena Iyer
Zee News

'Shaandaar' is grand; to put it in one word. Not grand so much in the story – which is a bit cliched, but in its acting and 'grandeur' filled screenplay with quirky interjections in the form of animation – and a bit of family drama. Their magnetic chemistry, lovey-dovey cameraderie is a feast to the eyes that thronged for a romantic coup, undoubtedly! Music by Amit Trivedi is fantastic. Some songs are really good. Screenplay is dotted with a bit of animation and some 'butterfly' moments to give it a fairytale touch. So here's 'Shaandaar' for you. A perfect recipe made out of crackling humour, love-teased cameo, family drama and a few 'wake up' moments of life. This brings us to the climax of the film which was the best. Oh, what a 'raita phailau' closure Bahl gives to the movie!

Pallavi Patra
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| 22 Oct 2015
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