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Ranchi Diaries  : A Disastrous Date
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Friday, October 13, 2017
Comedy
Sattwik Mohanty
Soundarya Sharma, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Satish Kaushik

It’s a huge let-down when a name like Anupam Kher backs a desperate wannabe entertainer. With shabbiness shining inevery department, it scores high only in its ‘irritation quotient’. The irritation begins with a voice-over by Vijay Raaz that introduces a multitude of characters, all of who spout a forced Bihari-Jharkhand accent. Get ready for bijness, let’s go to the sehar and be pojitive.

 

The next irritant is a flashback to one week ago to see what each of the useless characters do. Thakur Bhaiya does everything that’s illegal while his nephew, police officer Lallan Singh is as straight as a German autobahn. Manish and Pinkuare among the dudes who hang around a roadside ‘Chomin’ stall. You’re supposed to roll in the aisles over the spelling ‘Chomin’, by the way.  A spate of excruciating humour like ‘Matric fail degree’ follows.

 

There’s also a flashback within the flashback to meet Gudiya, the local Shakira that Manish is dating. There are no parents around, Thakur Bhaiya lusts over Gudiya’s music videos and Gudiya dreams of running away with Manish to the sehar to become the next rock star.

 

If this sounds even remotely interesting, rest assured that the technical and creative aspects stay uniformly below-average. But let’s plod on.

 

The dudes who’re implicated in a kidnap minus thrills have to cough up five lakh rupees to a corrupt cop. Most big crimes have a woman behind them, goes the next dialogue, as Gudiya decides that they must wear burkhas and rob a bank.

 

Using outdated split screens and monotonous voice-overs, the robbery is planned. It goes awry, the Naxals and the cops turn up, and after what seems like hours of kindergarten comedy, Gudiya gets them out of a spot and they romp home with bags of currency notes.

 

Writer-director Sattwick Mohanty enlists many more irritants to tell a dull tale that also nods at the recent demonetisation. Like an overweight fat cop who eats non-stop and farts. There are policemen who turn up drunk and without guns at a crime scene after being on duty at a wedding in the District Magistrate’s family. There are frequent references to ‘The Secret’, dialogues are repeated and vans with ‘Sherriff Ranchi County’ and ‘FBI’ written on them are all over the place. Laugh, please.

 

Despite the presence of reliable veterans Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill and Satish Kaushik, there are no sparkling performances. None of the younger cast also impress.

 

For a comedy-thriller that’s neither taut nor entertaining, Ranchi Diaries gets a 1.5* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author

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