Based on the novel, Chalaak Jasoos, the film is the desi version of the much-loved Pink Panther series immortalized by Peter Sellers and later Steve Martin.
The plot: Chatur Singh Two Star alias James Armani (Sanjay Dutt), the most ham-handed member of the Mumbai Police force, is famous for botching up cases and making a fool of himself. When the bumbling cop is assigned the task of protecting the crooked, lustful Agriculture Minister YY Singh (Gulshan Grover), he goofs up and the Minister is assassinated by a Don from South Africa.
Mystifyingly, he is still handed the biggest case of the department and told to track down the minister’s assassin in South Africa. The policeman’s comic peccadilloes come to naught, as he spends most of the time in South Africa cavorting with Ameesha Patel (Sonia), the secretary of the Agriculture Minister. His equally maladroit senior Rajkumar Sinha (Anupam Kher) decides to fly out to Cape Town to add to the mayhem and mishaps. With the help of the sexy secretary, who is suspected of murdering her minister boss, Chatur Singh finally and inadvertently solves the murder and returns to base with a promotion.
The good: Not easy to sift out the good in a movie which evidently has set out to cater to the lowest common denominator. One pathetic joke after another keeps you squirming as you wait impatiently for the end titles to come up. Sanjay Dutt does make a creditable attempt to carry off his role, at times even reminding you of his late father Sunil Dutt, who was adept at comedy. Pappu Panther (Suresh Menon) holds his own when pitted against Sanjay Dutt. Rati Agnihotri hams in a role that doesn’t suit her – she plays the wife of the Agriculture Minister while Don Chungwa (Shakti Kapoor) irritates. The saving grace of the film is Gul Gulfam (Satish Kaushik).
The bad: The whole film falls into this category as it rambles on endlessly. The sheer illogic, inane gags and silly one-liners, simply annoy. Director Ajay Chandok is a pale shadow of the feisty David Dhawan of the 90s.
Overall: You shudder with horror when the credit titles end with the mention of Chatur Singh Three Stars. Oh no, a sequel?
Verdict: Sit at home and watch the original Pink Panther series.
– Jyothi Venkatesh