It's Fun, It's Chaotic, But It's Not Convincing
A PR gal has a nudie video on her phone which gets whacked by some chap on a stolen scooter. She wants her phone back, but he is running away from a bad cop but maybe because he is carrying a bomb in the scooter. It’s chaotic, funny but has too many threads which make this non-linear film a tiring watch after a while.
How do we confuse thee, let me count the ways...
One bad cop, two funny cops, one thief on a pink scooter, the police commissioner, a priest, two witnesses, a movie star with a crush on his PR girl, movie star’s politician wife, a bad politician in jail, his mostly terrified manservant, movie star’s driver, two Sardars who win a radio contest to meet the movie star, the radio jockey who is supposed to help the two sardars meet the movie star, a shopkeeper lad, an assassin, a chap who tries to save the heroine, his parents, parents and a girl in an arranged marriage scenario with the chap, the heroine’s dad, and the heroine: The PR girl of the movie star. Oh yes, there’s the heroine’s granny too (whom we hear on the phone). That makes 27 actors in a chaotic setting in Mumbai (and I’m not counting the news anchor reporting crime and asking the commissioner questions).
It’s a great attempt to tell a story that connects all these characters to a plot that is slowly revealed. The digressions themselves are really funny, and sketch comedy like, but does this make a good film?
The jokes are clever. Very few people understand clever...
Let me confess to you that I laughed at the funny one liners and ridiculous situations the characters find themselves in. Like when the chap who tries save the heroine is in his car with his mom and dad and the heroine, and the parents think there’s something going in between the two young people. They are getting away from an arranged marriage situation where the girl turns out to be a lesbian person. When the mother asks what the word ‘lesbian’ means, the heroine explains how in a mythological story a baby was brought up by two women. That relationship is ‘lesbian’. The mother decides then that they should sing a bhajan thanking their stars that the son was saved from marrying someone who did not want a man. The heroine knows the bhajan too. Now the director could have just shown the discomfort by having only the mother sing, but no! The heroine is persuaded to sing it too, and the chap enjoys the heroine’s discomfort and grins as he drives the car.
Weird to read this, right? But all the characters in the car are so good - the mother oblivious to the whole thing, sings; the dad has seen the ‘lesbian’ girl kiss the heroine to thank her from saving her from a marriage and is suspicious of the heroine who is supposedly his son’s girlfriend; the chap has had his life turned upside down in trying to help the heroine, and the heroine is stuck with the lad because the thief has her phone and she has called the thief with the lad’s phone…
Yes, the chaos is confusing. But it was funny to hear the ‘lesbian girl’ say that she will have to do another Masters program in the US because that is easier than explaining to the parents why she does not want to marry a man.
The movie star is in love with the PR girl, our heroine, and wants to sort out why he made that video of her showering. But he cowers in front of his politician wife who orders him to take a selfie to prove that he is alone. The phone conversation between them is really funny. Ravi Kishen and Shilpa Shukla say the silliest lines with lots of seriousness.
Akshay Oberoi plays the lad who interferes in the argument between the heroine (Radhika Apte), and the thief (Siddhant Kapoor). The three are so good, they make you believe that this implausible series of events is part of their day. The film sort of crashes in the end because the assumption and proof that all these characters who get embroiled in a terror plot are really nice people and that the bad guy was being manipulated by someone even worse. The caper goes on for too long and the funny bits sort of trail away… The biggest problem with the film is that it is too clever. The baddie talks on the phone about finding the heroine and the car with all of them singing that bhajan goes right under the bridge where he’s standing...
This ensemble cast and their stories could have been tighter, but no. So even if you have guffawed, you end up feeling as harried as Radhika Apte does when she realises that she’s having a really, really bad day.
(This review appears on nowrunning dot com)