What The Heck Did I Just Watch?
Sunny Deol is Bhaiyyaji, a gangster whose wife, Preity Zinta has left him in a huff. He decides to woo her back by making a movie. It’s funny if you are a masochist.
Hard to believe that we’re still making slapstick movies. This movie has been made at least six years ago and has attempted a release ever since it got made. But if you stop groaning through all the awful acting and ridiculous where-is-this-going plot, you will discover silliness that is unexpected and fun.
Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta (sometimes they look exhausted and older and at other times look charming, really) are Gangster Bhaiyyaji and Sapna Dubey, married to each other. Why Bhaiyyaji is called 3D no one really knows, perhaps it is a joke that did not translate well from page to screen. But some do:
‘He is a writer, someone who doesn’t get paid…’ The director of the film says as he snatches the money away from the writer.
Then there are unintended moments of laughter. Jaideep Ahlawat is the bad guy called Helicopter Mishra, who wants to be Bhaiyyaji instead of Bhaiyyaji. He too has a gang of guys with guns and evil glares following him around. He hires bad gals to sidle up Bhaiyyaji inside a temple (Bhaiyyaji is singing a Shiva song with men and women in black are dancing with him) and then fake sadhus attack Bhaiyyaji. Bhaiyyaji of course handles each goon with punches and kicks and breaks their bones while his bunch of hanger ons nod approvingly. The sequence has great action for Sunny Deol fans. There is a car chase sequence where someone overtakes Bhaiyyaji, and there are other guys trying to stop bhaiyyaji from reaching (who knows where!) and for a while you think it’s just going to be a Rohit Shetty style car blow up sequence, out comes what could only be described as a Gatling gun! Before you can collect your jaw from the floor, you realise that you actually enjoyed that excess.
Speaking of excess, the entry of Sunny Deol (certain whistles and whoops among the fans) has a full ‘paisa vasool’ scene where he smashes his fists (yes, both!) into a pushcart full of tender coconuts and when he raises them, woah! He now has boxing glove like devices, tender coconut in each hand! He uses them to smash baddies, of course.
But the story is something terribly lame. His fiesty wife Sapna Dubey has left him because she just doesn’t feel compliant and also because some woman was hugging him in gratitude. She dresses in shiny sarees (and those sarees look really good on Preity Zinta) but she shoots at him happily. The first bullet goes past his head and she says, ‘I did not want to be a widow, or the bullet would not have missed.’ And to top that, the second bullet misses his groin, she gets to say, ‘I want children, so I missed deliberately!’
If you can stand this, and don’t care that her face looks really weird in some scenes (surgery?), then her awful broken English will certainly make you cringe. She speaks bad English with a city accent. Thankfully there is a host of really good actors who are hamming it up (as though they were told you are so good, just go out there and do your funny thing), which makes Preity Zinta’s overacting seem a-okay. The list will surprise you. Pankaj Tripathi, Brijendra Kala, Sanjay Mishra. Not to be outdone, there’s Shreyas Talpade, Hemant Pandey, Mukul Dev, Arshad Warsi and in a cameo, Ranjeet! Of course, there’s Ameesha Patel too. She’s the female lead in the movie Bhaiyyaji is making to woo his wife back (ends up making her jealous and angry). Wait, that’s the story?
Everything and everyone is overdoing everything all the time, it is easy to ignore the over the top sets of Bhaiyyaji’s palace. Does the whole thing matter at all? The final showdown between Bhaiyyaji and Helicopter Mishra’s gang is jaw-droppingly good. It happens in a train yard. An unconscious Preity Zinta gets to slide down a coal slide and gets caught in Sunny Deol’s arms. An explosion brings her back to cough out the water she has swallowed when her car went over the bridge into the river (yes, that happens). She then gets run over by an SUV and gets jammed under it on train tracks. Helicopter Mishra drives a train engine at speeds meant for Ferraris, but Sunny Deol lifts the SUV and saves his wife and they get off the track because he catches a giant crane hook which his double (don’t ask!) is driving. Then after many punches, Helicopter Mishra drives off with Preity and Sunny Deol jumps on that runaway truck and the truck goes off the cliff and dangles by a a hook where Bhaiyyaji and Mishra have a last fight. Of course Bhaiyyaji wins, and Mishraji falls off the cliff. But instead of falling straight down as gravity would demand, he floats off.
Wait! What?! But all’s well that ends well and they have an end scene where Mishra is in hospital and cannot identify a banana. Why? Do you care? You make a beeline for the exit, unable to meet the eye of other people who are asking the same existential question as you. Did I laugh in there or did I facepalm?
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com )