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Guest Iin London  : Pests Without Control
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Comedy
Ashwni Dhir
Paresh Rawal, Tanvi Azmi, Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Kharbanda

Instead of distorting the English language with weird spellings in the title, writer-director Ashwni Dhir would’ve fared better if he’d spent time on updating his script.

 

When a writer’s humour rests on the main character breaking wind, or farting as most people call it, it’s a clear indication that he has hit rock bottom. Paresh Rawal as the uninvited guest who overstays his welcome farts right from the plane in which he’s heading for London to farting all over England. He even sings a rap song on farting at a party. Tanvi Azmi playing his wife, Guddi Chachi, has an overused apology that goes, ‘You know he has a bit of a stomach upset.’

 

Dhir pulls out another antique thought when he gets the lead pair, Aryan and British-Indian Anaya to go through a false marriage so that he can stay on in London. Before long they take the much-used route to fall in love and make it a real marriage.

 

Stuck in a millennium long gone by, Dhir’s comedy, values and comments include dialogues that say women must wash clothes, cook, serve the men and take care of babies. Otherwise he’s downright offensive with Tanvi Azmi giving an oil massage to a black baby saying something like, if you’d been bathed with malai you wouldn’t look like this.

 

The foundation naturally rests on a pair of unwanted guests, the Chacha and Chachi Aryan doesn’t even know, who land up uninvited and unexpected in London. That’s how it is back in Punjab, says Aryan to Anaya. Taking offence to Anaya’s short clothes, blowing up the oven, annoying Aryan’s boss and hosting parties and noisy funerals,go on without any mirth.

 

Instead of asking them politely and firmly to leave, Aryan takes the more cruel and illogical option of deserting the Chacha and Chachi in a way-out place to turn it into a tearjerker. 9/11, a dead son and namaaz offered at Ground Zero are tagged on. But there’s little logic in the explanations that are offered. For instance, why did the Chachi’s real name have to be a secret? To be fair, there is a Fakir song in the background that’s a positive takeaway. And there is one dialogue between Paresh Rawal and a Pakistani neighbour on Kashmir which may evoke a chuckle.

 

Otherwise, Guest Iin London is like unfunny pests who’ve taken over the host’s life. A dramatic dialogue from Aryan equates those living out of India with pet owners who treat guests like dogs. To which Chachi replies that children are like pottery, if you hold them too tight, they’ll get crushed. That’s how profound it is.

 

Paresh Rawal is like the guest who has extended his stay uninvited,his unending role isso annoying. There’s little that veterans Paresh and Tanvi or guest artiste Ajay Devgn can do when everything is so out of sync with current times. It naturally follows that youngsters Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Kharbanda also fail to sparkle as the hosts.

 

For comedy that’s not fresh and emotions that aren’t moving, Guest Iin London gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

 

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