(Published in The New Sunday Express, on December 9, 2012)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Asin Thottumkal, Himesh Reshammiya, Mithun Chakraborty, Paresh Rawal, Sanjai Mishra
Director: Ashish R Mohan
Rating: 1 star
You know that shot of the shoe moving away to reveal a painted face that even Rajnikanth couldn’t save from being spoofed over and over and over? Akshay Kumar, who’s already booked himself to play the hero in a series of Kollywood remakes, steals that move. Only it’s a rather more feminine, overhead kick, with even cheaper graphics.
After a very long intro song, that goes “Khiladi bhaiyya”, and is repeated at least thrice in the film, we’re taken to the scene of a wedding. Champak Desai (Paresh Rawal) is a marriage broker, who can be bribed or sweet-talked into manipulating horoscopes so thekundli will match. Playing his son Mansukh is – horror of all horrors – Himesh Reshammiya. His stupidity gets him expelled from his father’s business, and he takes up with Jeevanlal Pranlal De Costa (Sanjai Mishra), who runs a shop called ‘Coffin and Kafan’. Hahaha, do you get it? Jeevan runs a coffin shop. Hahahaha. And hahahaha, he’s called Jeevanlal, Pranlal, which is the same thing. Hahahaha.And there’s a ‘De Costa’ in his name, though his name sounds, you know, Marwari. Hahahahaha.
Now, I’ll tell you what’s really funny. Bahatar Singh (Akshay Kumar) beats up the bad guys, wearing a police uniform, but it turns out he’s actually a pehlwaan. That’s how Punjab works, funny, no? Supplying more hilarity are the bahus of the household – Chinese, Canadian, and African – when they speak Hindi. That makes for a bunch of terrible puns, along the lines of “cheeni kam.” Dear God.
The problem is, no one wants to marry Bahatar Singh, and this is where Mansukh decided to start off his break-off brokerage. His services are also sought by TTT (Mithun Chakraborty), a fearsome don who wants to get his dastanvi pass sister Indu (Asin) married off into a shareef khandaan. Guess what happens.
Complicating the plot is a boyfriend whose rippling muscles are set off by an immensely stupid brain, terrible luck, and a barely understandable accent. He’s a Bangladeshi refugee called Azad, and he’s in prison. Hahahaha. Get it? What pun.
Of course, an Akshay Kumar movie is best off when it’s devoid of a storyline. But to try us with the most pathetic of PJs, to spoof everything that’s already been spoofed, and to kill our joie de vivre with more than seven Himesh Reshammiya songs, is surely a violation of human rights? This is the sort of film that makes one want to stand up and scream, “Film critics are people too! We don’t deserve to be put through this again and again and again! I’ve had it! I’m walking out!”
The Verdict: The only achievement of the film is that it contrives to simultaneously offend women, dwarfs, Bengalis, Sikhs, Africans, Punjabis, Maharashtrians, Bangladeshis, police, and goondas.