Now this is one film which could have been so much more fun than what one eventually sees on screen. However the overall impact is felt only in bits and pieces and even though this Yash Raj product starts off with a bang, it ends on a predictable, clichéd and routine note. Sad, but true.
The stage is set at the very onset with Ricky Behl (Ranveer Singh) conning a Delhi girl (Parineeti Chopra) and her dad of lacs. He reaches Mumbai and this time around the victim is a corporate woman (Dipannita Singh). As Parineeti and Dipannita realise that they have been conned by the same man, Aditi Sharma (from Lucknow) too joins them and has a similar tale to tell. The trio takes it upon itself to con Ricky Behl back with the help of a fourth girl - Anushka Sharma.
Director Maneesh Sharma, after an immensely enjoyable 'Band Baaja Baaraat', succeeds in establishing the plot well, especially in the Delhi episode. You get a smile on your face as you see a 'Bittoo Sharma' all over again in Ranveer. While his conversations with Parineeti's dad is great fun, what's all the more enjoyable is the girl's affection for him even after she has been conned. Frankly, this is the best episode in the film.
There are portions in the second episode that work as well when Ranveer cons Dipannita into buying an M.F. Hussain fake painting. However the third episode where Aditi's father-in-law hands over lacs to him just doesn't sound convincing. Anushka Sharma's introduction here, though a bit overdone to establish her as a sales-woman, does bring the film back on track and the moment film reaches Goa, you do expect it to be one out and out fun affair.
Not that the second half is poor by any means. There are portions here that do engage you and also bring a sense of euphoria, albeit in brief spurts. However this is the very part of the film where one senses some trouble as well. After a long period of Ranveer playing a second fiddle in an extended track, one expects him to get a quick realisation that he is being taken for a ride. The point in the film where he comes across the truth is way too convenient as well while the portions from this point on are a complete downer.
(Spoilers ahead) This means that right from the time there is a land transaction being made to Ranveer coming face to face with the ladies and then his encounter with Anushka in the climax just doesn't cut the ice. In fact right through the last 30 minutes, one felt that Ranveer would make a major move but nothing like that happens, hence resulting in an out and out predictable affair.
Thankfully, what still keeps 'Ladies v/s Ricky Behl' moving to some extent are the funny moments, most of them coming courtesy Parineeti. She is a plain natural and her characterisation of a young 'bindaas' Delhi girl who is yet to mature is such that it would keep the masses entertained. Dipannita plays her part well while Aditi Sharma is required to be low key and subtle and acts as per the plan.
Ranveer Singh acts with utmost maturity and it is apparent that he has made a conscious effort to move away from his 'Band Baaja Baaraat' image. He is convincing as a smooth talker while ensuring that never once does he go overboard. Anushka Sharma, though not quite enjoying a getting much scope to go all the way, is convincing. Salim-Sulaiman's music is another asset here that keeps the wheels moving for 'Ladies v/s Ricky Behl'.
Imagine the possibilities when four ladies take one smooth talker heads on and attempt to con him of lacs? Of course one does ends up remembering a 'John Tucker Must Die' but then that film was about a Casanova while this is purely about a con and the game that he plays. As one of the protagonists does acknowledge in the film, he isn't someone who tries to take an advantage of a girl who has fallen for him. With a setting like this, one does expect 'Ladies v/s Ricky Behl' to be a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately though, that doesn't quite turn out to be the case in enirety as the film appeals only in parts.