• When we laugh, we forget who we are, and just laugh. Laughter binds the generations like an invisible string, stirring and pulling all and sundry, over and over again. And given that Rohit Shetty wants to make you laugh, well, he will do so with panache, be sure. Golmaal Again is the fourth instalment of a highly successful franchise dating back to 2006. The gang is back again! Led by the grimacing grunting Ajay Devgn ( terrific as always), this time the lovable goons are inmates in an orphanage run by a kind soul – Jamnadas ( Uday Tikekar in a rare Bollywood movie appearance). The boys go about their carefree lives poking fun at each other. One day they ‘rescue’ an abandoned baby girl. She turns out to be a sprightly little lady who quickly becomes the centre of everyone’s ‘Khushi’. All of a sudden, a kiddish prank by the boys on Ajay AKA Gopal lands them all in trouble. Disgruntled, they leave the premises of the orphanage for good in two separate groups, Gopal and Laxman (Shreyas Talpade, mildly amusing) on one side, followed by Madhav ( Arshad Warsi looking tired), the other Laxman (surprising act by Kunal Khemu) and Lucky
    (everyone’s darling Tushar Kapoor). Many years and a couple of plot points later, they return to the same orphanage to witness Jamnada’s thirteenth-day ritual. Here, Ana the librarian (Tabu as graceful as ever) weaves them onto a backstory and tries her best to ask for their help. Nonetheless, the fighting fivesome goons do not heed and keep battering each other, even falling into the hands of a scheming real estate tycoon (Prakash Raj, yet again !). Gopal falls for the mysterious maid
    (Parineeti competent in an important role) and even tries to propose to her. The rest of the gang in a lighter vein cajoles him to go ahead and win her. Therein lies the ‘twist’ and the far-reaching and long winding part of the story. Characters upon character keep swelling up, reminding one of the sixties masala movies.
    However, trust our good ol Rohit anna to deliver when it matters, he throws in the punch lines just when the tiring three hours seem to never end. No doubt some punches miss badly, yet the ones that land, land well. In the department of comedy, undoubtedly the winner is Johnny Lever. In his reprising act of Pappi ”Bhoola” bhai, he enthrals us the way only he can. A guaranteed scene stealer, he is one good reason why Golmaal Again is a must watch. Next, comes the surprise package in Kunal Khemu. In a refreshing turn, he takes the character to a new level, his swag, comic timing and a newfound glow is unmistakable. The others (ably supported by Sanjai Mishra and Vrajesh Heerji) keep the laff track going. The film cruises on the strong shoulders of Ajay, he uses his drooping lazy gaze, his shy smile and goondagardi to good effect. Golmaal as a franchise is wildly successful, all because of him. We root for him when in a scene a bunch of goons ridicule him and ask ”who the hell are you?”, he cooly pats his forehead and replies ”main yeda (lunatic) hoon”. Tabu lends her acting prowess in a seemingly listless character where there is more of cold staring involved rather than good substance. Yet she handles her part well. The long list of support is mostly decent, everyone chips in with vigour. Of the entire ensemble cast, it is Parineeti who is outstanding in her mystery role. She makes us reach out to her through her sheer charm and vivacity. Every scene of her’s is a standout. She remains in the memory in a well etched and well fleshed out role. Her quicksilver show of hurt and rage is exceptional. She deserves something for this role.
    The action part of the movie is the biggest letdown. Unimaginative and boring to the core, it didn’t suit the stature of a Rohit Shetty movie. The music too is nothing to write about. The songs are a poor rehash of the nineties. The script writing credited to Yunus Sajawal could have been a lot tighter. Some scenes are just too meaningless. Dialogues by Farhad Sajid are suitable to bring the house down. Mostly funny, he retains the best for the most talented, try this – when testing a mike for current shock, Johnny lever fakes being electrocuted and then sobers up suddenly to say ”arree current nahi, yeh talent hai’. The cinematography is oddball and dimly lit. The movie has some untied ends in the plot and a continuity related mistake at the very beginning. However justifying its tag as a Diwali paisa wasool release, Golmaal scores big, AGAIN. Sit back and enjoy this ride while it lasts. Don’t go for the logic, its just ”magic”.

    October 25, 17
  • India has a million faces, tis the landscape of a collage of myriad colours and juxtaposition. A nation borne on the pillars of ancient scriptures propagating healthy living and the idea of sattvic food and shuddhi, is perhaps most harrowingly filthy in its ways. And yes, the modern grandeur of our great nation stands tall over a mammoth pile of garbage on the roads, filth in every nook and corner and a populace obsessed with attending to nature’s call out in the open. Swaccha Bharat isn’t a dream to fulfill, it is an over neglected constitutional duty for which the billion citizens and the administrative machinery are accountable. Toilet ek Prem Katha is perhaps a first-of-its-kind movie anywhere in the world. It scoffs at the putrid mentality of ours.

    There are movies and there is Toilet ek Prem katha. Albiet, I must say, sitting through the two and a half hours of its running the feeling of a Doordarshan documentary crept in. So we witness this story, where Akshay kumar’s character of a bachelor in his late thirties is struggling with the authoritarian dictates of a staunch Brahmin father ( in-form Sudhir Mishra ), who wouldn’t let his son get married due to certiain doshas in the horoscope. However the wily son outsmarts the father cum pandit, when he falls in love with a pretty girl with a topper’s degree ( excellent Bhumi Pednekar ).The educated bride is welcomed with a raucous marriage band and tons of flowers, the first night of bliss is pitch perfect for the couple. Almost the entire first half is spent on the premise building. Then the turmoil begins on the ”morn after”. The new bride is called out in the wee hours by the village ladies for a ”ritual”. The bride learns to her utter shock about lota party and then all hell breaks loose.

    Confronted and cornered by his much civilsed wife for not having a civic sense and openly defecating, our hero at first sees no point in creating brouhaha. He even chides her for being non adjusting and unjust. However, gradually he sees what she knows since childhood and begins to help her overcome the morning problem by his jugaadu ways. Predictably, the pandit cum father upon hearing the mere utterance of constructing a toilet in the home compound unleashes a volley of gyaan about sanskaar and parampara. The twist comes by way of an unfortunate mishap which culminates to the final resolve and the ”action” part of the movie. The writing team of Garima Sidhharth are to be saluted for their brave effort. Lucid in their pacing but perhaps a tad too superfluous for the sake of entertainment quotient. While attacking the hygiene and sanitation issues, the writers bounce against the hyprocritical belief systems, patriarchal viewpoints and age old myths prevalant in our society.To break the mould so essential for the final statement, they use the female voice from two polarised universes. One that has accepted all that the society has heaved upon them and the other that knows what is right and what is wrong. The shrill overtone of reason is not to be missed in some key moments of the film. Ultimately in a showdown of sorts it all boils down to system vs people. The couple so madly in love with each other are uncannily shown to know the right thing to do even at the cost of their marriage. Of course the ending is a sweet smell of sucess.

    The director Shree Narayan Singh ( Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai ) having edited the movie himself seems to have sparingly snipped his own movie as the lenght is approximately half an hour longer than was nessesary. While the music is repeat worthy with a couple of sure fire chart-toppers, at least one song could have been done way with. The camera captures the village locales beautifully, but hovers from the top like a helicoter, scene after scene. Apart from the ”shame on you” concept which barges into the potty zone with a 70 mm camera and eardrum scalding lines like ” khulla pichwara koi dekh bhi le toh muh ghunghat se dhak lena”,the movie barges ahead on the stellar performances. Each of the actors hold forte as if they realise this is a moment of truth in Indian cinema. Special mention for Divyendu ‘Naru’ Sharma for genuinely tickling the funny bone as Akhay’s closest comrade. Khiladi kumar has proven yet again that he is a King in his own right. He effortlessly holds our complete attention while being the quitessential lover boy, playing an obedient son, rendering a heartwrenching monologue and ultimately to reveal a new found identity of a rebel with a cause. He turns on his superstar charm at will and we are enthralled by his genuine performance. This movie has another superstar in Bhumi. In the role of Jaya, she makes the topic of Toilets For All her own. She uses her sweet smile effectively and then turns it 360 degrees around to spit venom at a blindfolded society which revels in its apathy towards women. Her rustic, classy act is worth its value in gold.

    Move over serenading in mustard fields and princes from the ivory towers, here a splash of hard hitting reality which won’t be forgotten in a long time. This toilet will be remembered for permanently flushing out some taboo.

    August 18, 17