It was supposed to be Hrishikesh Mukherjee meets Rohit Shetty but it’s more Singham colliding with Welcome against the backdrop of Golmaal of the 70s. That’s premise enough for an uproarious comedy which alas, falls because of an un-funny second half.
The plot: Just like blondes are considered to be slow-witted, Bol Bachchan takes the liberty to presume that pehelwans (body-builders) are all muscle, no mind. Watch pehelwan Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn) who practically rules Ranakpur. His loves are bodybuilding and his sis Radhika (Prachi Desai), his pride is his better-than-the British English and his pet hate is dishonesty. Along comes a bouquet of thorns in the form of unemployed Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) from Delhi who has chugged into Ranakpur with his dad’s friend Shastri Chacha (Asrani).
On his arrival, when Abbas heroically breaks down the controversial door to a mandir to save a kid, opportunity also comes knocking on his door in the form of a job under Prithviraj. But for this high-paying job, he has to pay a heavy price and Abbas Ali turns into Abhishek Bachchan. A man with good intentions, Abbas is forced to lie through his teeth, first to avoid a riot, then to get a job and then to keep up with his lies. You know what’s in store when lie-detesting Prithviraj discovers the web of lies.
The good: Ajay Devgn’s rather amusing English with dialogues (by Farhad-Sajid) like, “12 o’clock at night, you do one night stand for me” (his translation of 12 baje bhi bulaya to bhi tum mere liye aaoge), “When elders get cozy, don’t put your nosey…” (Jab bade baat kar rahe hai, bachche beech mein bola nahin karte), is funny for a while. However, not all of it is audible, nor will it be comprehensible to all. Ajay Devgn’s brawny image makes him perfect for the role. Abhishek Bachchan is earnest and raises a few laughs at the beginning of his gay role. Both Devgn and Bachchan go through the many action sequences with professional ease. Action director Jai Singh Nijjar has made sure that Rohit Shetty’s patent action highlights (blowing up vehicles being a particular favourite) are all there.
The bad: Firstly, its 154 min length and sagging, pointless sequences which in many places, especially post-interval, bring on a feeling of, let’s get it over with please. The writer trio of Sajid-Farhad-Yunus Sajawal seems to have lost touch with their script post-interval. Romance and heroines are like reluctant, insignificantly utilised ingredients. Asin cast as Abhishek’s sister Sania has barely anything to do while Prachi has at least a couple of minutes to register her presence. Asin using Ajay Devgn to give her romantic cues for her rehearsal for a play is so poorly written that it looks like she’s auditioning him for the part instead of seeking his help. The scene also doesn’t help inject any romance into the limp love track. Despite having two music composers (Himesh Reshammiya, Ajay-Atul), the placement of the songs doesn’t add to the fun.
Action as a genre goes down well with a strong negative force (like Prakash Raj in Singham) providing a meaty confrontation. Here, the weak villain track which is sidelined through most of the movie robs the thrill from the action. The climax is a huge letdown, especially the drama staged by Devgn and his staff to unveil the lies of Abbas Ali. The cliff hanger which was used effectively in comedies like No Entry is also shabbily used with Abhishek, hitherto shown as a heroic character, inexplicably turning into a churlish bystander who won’t help Devgn in distress. In an attempt to make his character seem funny, Abhishek’s heroics take a beating which in turns means the climax gets a beating too. Perhaps an action-packed climax would have worked better than the effete comedy.
Overall: It’s 50 per cent Bore Bachchan coz even after leaving your brains at home, you’ll find laughs on ration out here.
– Priyanka Ketkar