The script of Parineeta was well written, with lively dialogue, three-dimensional characters and an intriguing plot. The splendor and beauty of the sets cannot be questioned, and Pradeep Sarkar's direction is assured. As a viewer should come to expect from Indian cinema, the music and songs are melodious and memorable, and half-justified in Parineeta as Shekhar is something of a songsmith. Saif Ali Khan gives a studied, understated performance, showing well the fraught circumstances his character feels himself in, and Vidya Balan brings out a good sense of pathos to her role while managing to show strength and avoid sentiment. The former further consolidates his position in this industry while the latter's performance in this movie is of such high level that she puts the top-graded actresses of the film industry to shame. There's no flaw in her performance and really nothing to improve upon, be it diction, emotiveness, body language, and screen presence. The surrounding cast lends good support, especially Sanjay Dutt's wonderfully contained comic performance as a businessman returning from England. His comic touch as a simple man further lends to the story a note of compassion and warmth. With his evergreen versatility as an actor and his masterful performance is really award-worthy. The character portrayal of Raima Sen and Diya Mirza is quite impressive and adds more subtleness to the whole plot.
The credit of the success of Parineeta also goes to the brilliant cast of actors who meted out brilliant performances. The notable names in the starcast include Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Raima Sen, Dia Mirza and others. The only problem with Parineeta is its smallness in scope. The story of the film is based on has been updated to Calcutta in the 1960's, and not up to the present day, presumably to avoid it seem antediluvian. This is telling and, despite attempts to have the characters spend some time away from the narrow range of their lives in the Havelis, Calcutta, which at the beginning of the film is described as a vibrant, multitudinous city in foment, seems virtually absent. This makes Parineeta perhaps the most engaging classic ever produced in Bollywood.