(Published in City Express, The New Indian Express, dated 26 November, 2011, retrieved from http://expressbuzz.com/
Cast: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Chitrangda Singh, Anupam Kher, Sanjay Dutt
Director: Rohit Dhawan
Rating: 4 stars
When the male Rekha and male Mallika Sherawat of Bollywood – the ageless Akshay Kumar, and the topless John Abraham – get together for a bro flick in a foreign locale, all the ingredients are in place for a full-on entertainer. And Desi Boyz is that rare thing in an ambitious industry – an out-and-out masala movie that never pretends to be anything else.
The illogical storyline is apparent when The Daily Mail, arguably for the first time in its history, is more concerned about the recession than the Diana inquest. Amid some awful graphics, we meet Jignesh “Jerry” Patel (Akshay Kumar) scooting to work – he’s a security guard at a mall, who regularly gets fired – and his brother-from-a-hotter-mother Nikhil “Nick” Mathur (John Abraham) biking to work – he’s an investment banker, who regularly gets bonuses. The two are old college buddies, current roomies, and soon-to-be business partners.
Riding a high, Nick is all set to marry Radhika Awasthi (Deepika Padukone), when a twist deals him a blow in the solar plexus. Jerry has a larger commitment – an orphaned nephew Veer (Virej Dasani), whom the folks from Social Services are rather keen on putting in a foster home. The two are forced to throw themselves into the one profession that remains recession proof.
Jerry turns into Rocco, and Nick becomes Hunter, under the mentorship of the Boss (Sanjay Dutt), who runs ‘Desi Boyz’ - oh, you'll figure out what that is when you watch the movie. Throw in a haughty girlfriend, a hot classmate-turned-teacher, a racist professor, an adorable kid, a Gujju Mummyji, a nutty Daddy, a self-assured pimp, a goofy suitor, and a randy judge, and you’ve got a winner.
Complete with cracking dialogues, excellent timing, and catchy songs, this comedy will have you clutching your sides for the better part of two hours. The dance sequences are imaginatively choreographed, and there are times when the scenes seem straight out of a stage musical. Two in particular are reminiscent of The Producers. From cricket to Top Gun, the spoofs spare nothing. Hell, they don't even spare Rajnikanth, with Nick tossing in a snide reference to his 'dialogue'.
In a film like this, incongruity doesn’t seem out of place, and sundry subplots fan out cheerfully. Akshay Kumar finds the space to bring in a patriotic diatribe on the achievements of Indians, finds the money to put himself through college, and finds a job faster than his super-educated friend. Somewhere along the way, he finds Tanya Sharma (Chitrangda Singh), who is happy to flunk him in an exam to give herself the opportunity to strip for him and salsa with him. And John Abraham, for all his attempts at squeezing the navrasa into every frame, is so often the target of a nasty joke that the script seems to preempt the audience's reactions.
Desi Boyz is the sort of movie that will make you want to dance, well up, and snort with laughter in the space of a few minutes. It’s a callback to Akshay Kumar’s khiladi days, and the hilarity is enhanced by comic-relief-within-comic-
relief by Anupam Kher and Omi Vaidya.
The Verdict: The movie’s more than paisa vasool, so go and make some noise for the Desi Boyz!