Vantage point

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Bacchan aur Bacchan

Saw Bunty Aur Babli yesterday.

It is admirable that the Yashraj-Dharma gang, after a syrupy decade of family-weddings-romance-kitsch, has started diversifying a bit. Dhoom was a beginning, and Kaal was another step in the same direction. In Bunty Aur Babli, we see another movie which does not spend reels upon reels in showing weddings. The story theme is a combination of 70s masala flicks and Catch Me If You Can.

So how is the movie? Despite having all the potential ingredients to come up with a winner, the movie disappoints. The fact that it is good in fact excellent in patches, further underlines the failure of the writer-director team to deliver.

The glaring Achilles heel of the film for me is it's booooooring songs. Except for the catcy 'Dhadak Dhadak', all the other songs are below-mediocre, and their frequent interruptions and length totally spoil the mood.

I liked the first hour of the movie or so, simply because the whole Kanpur-Lucknow part is depicted so realistically. It is actually shot in the two cities, and the mannerisms of the people, their habits, clothes etc are captured perfectly. Kinda made me nostalgic for the two years I spent in Lucknow.

Some of the con jobs B&B pull are well written and hilarious, like the Q.Q.Qureshi one and especially the one in which they sell the Taj Mahal. The scene where there is a mob protesting outside the Minister's house has to be one of the most hilarious scenes in recent years.

B&B need the Minister (a direct jab at Mayawati) to leave her office so they pay a mob of people to go and demonstrate in front of her house for no reason. She has to rush home to talk to the mob. The mob is really making no particular point, and is just yelling the standard cliches.

Mob Leader - Taanashahi nahi chalegi!
Minister - Kya hua? Kya chahiye?
Mob leader - Humaari maange poori karo!
Minister - Kya hai tumhari maange????
Mob Leader - Angrez Bharat Chodo!!!
Minister - Angrez???????

The whole sequence was rip-roaringly funny.

Sadly, after the scene, the movie plummets downhill. The standard Yashraj effect shows with a lot of sentimotionality thrown in. And as the movie draws to the close, the director has no clue how to end it and makes quite a hash of the "climax".

Abhishek does a good job, and Rani too does fine (though her crying is extrrrrremely irritating). Amitabh is largely wasted, and his characterisation is very obfuscated.

My advice - give it a pass, and only watch the funny scenes when the movie is released on TV some months later.