This was a flop, it was a train wreck. It has already been ridiculed in news stories and award functions so let's take that as granted.
You know this word - salvage? From a wreck, from the scene of a total loss what can be gathered or saved, that's salvage.
Considering that Shandaar is already a spectacular wreck let's see what we can salvage from it. It does have some pretty long animation sequences which are like its cardinal sins and some actor choices that I am sure the director regretted pretty quickly. But what does it do right?
The story. It does actually have basic story with some sub-plots. Most Hindi films only have basic story (lots of Hollywood ones too), so that's at part with the industry. Two families coming together for a destination wedding that's also a business deal. The bride is fat, the groom is an asshole who doesn't appreciate her and the family is oppressive. This is the backdrop against which the love story of Shahid and Alia is played out. Shahid is the wedding planner and Alia is the bride's adopted orphan sister.
Characters. The cast of characters is good and varied, many of them are caricaturish but chalk that up to its mistakes. There are 4 main characters though that I really liked - 1. Vipin or Beeps (Pankaj Kapoor), Jagjinder Joginder or Tent House (Shahid Kapoor), Alia (Alia Bhatt), Isha (Sanah Kapoor).
That leads us to the actors. The performances by these 4 are excellent and watchable. The director has tried to leverage the Pankaj Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor real life relationship for comedy, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but they both perform well.
Alia looks lovely, I do like her as an actress but Sanah Kapoor as the chubby bride-to-be Isha is what took my heart and the reason I decided to write this review. She's a sweet, warm-hearted person and has an adorable smile. Her genuine love for her adopted sister Alia, actually I should say the love shared between the two step-sisters, leads to a few nice, sweet scenes in the film.
I maintain that even a terrible film usually has a few scenes, or at least one that can be salvaged from it. Or maybe a quote, or a message, or a visual. Like Justice League. The movie was so bad I called it a bitter disappointment and was really angry with Zack Snyder for this crap. But it had many Wonder Woman scenes that were worth watching. Shandaar has many nice, worth-watching scenes.
There is some comedy in Shandaar which makes you smile and maybe a few moments which make laugh out loud.
Music is okay. Not great, but the Gulaabo song became popular when the movie first came out.
One of my tests for a film is - does it make you care about the characters and what happens to them? Shandaar does. The situation in the story is like - an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Something's gotta give. You want to know how it gets resolved. On that topic, the climax was also alright, entertaining and open-ended enough to make it a good ending.
Conclusion: Watch it with low expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised.