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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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(Published on July 8, in The New Sunday Express, retrieved from

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin Thottumkal, Prachi Desai, Archana Puran Singh

Director: Rohit Shetty

Rating: 1 star

There are good films. There are bad films. There are awful ones. There are films you should only watch if you’re paid to. And then, there are films like Bol Bachchan which I wouldn’t recommend even if were paid to.

This is yet another mistaken identity film. Yet another tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Golmaal. Yet another tribute to Amitabh Bachchan. And it could easily be the worst in all three categories.

Director Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgn reunite after the box office success of Singham, hoping to sweep up another win at the ticket counters. If this does churn out another hundred-odd crores, it is a reflection on the miserable taste that has catapulted Bollywood to its current bawdiness, and its lead stars to their beachfront mansions.

Bol Bachchan has the cheapest of humour – Hinglish puns, analysis of the absurdity of English, homophobia, weird facial contortions accompanied by retarded music, and a bunch of actors who, in most other industries, would be sent back with a shower of eggs and rotten tomatoes.

The story is bad enough. Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) and his sister Sania (Asin Thottumkal) decide, on an impulse, to move from Delhi to this obscure village, which runs on the whims of Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn), our Ingishman. For the next couple of hours, he will ask us the sort of questions we’ve grown tired of a million times over – you know, the if-mice-is-the-plural-of-mouse-what-is-the-plural-of-spice kind of thing? And Abbas and Raghuvanshi become colleagues and then enemies, and then make up.

I was prepared for Asin’s character to pout and rail and indulge in ego-clash followed by song-and-dance with Ajay Devgn’s character. What I wasn’t prepared for was Abbas Ali breaking a temple lock in order to assume the identity of Abhishek Bachchan.

Yes, that’s how thick the film lays it on. “Bol Bachchan”, and you need a Bachchan playing a Bachchan in the movie. The next hundred odd minutes make for a tortuous trail of hamming, dancing, swearing, scratching and...of course, punning.

Abbas Ali, as Abhishek Bachchan, is forced to conjure up a Muslim twin, who naturally acts gay – why not pay a tribute to Dostana while we’re at it, too, the filmmakers want to know. The twin becomes tutor for Radhika (Prachi Desai), the sister of Raghuvanshi. Need I say more?

Oh, also, Archana Puran Singh is back in action in this film. Now, there really is nothing more I could add.

The Verdict: If you have a spiteful boss, get him a ticket to this film. If you really despise him, get him two tickets to the show.


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