Rohit Shetty’s movies are much like Sushi. Either you like, or you don’t.
While I form the minority, who fail to comprehend or applaud Rohit’s mediocre style of movie-making, there’s a massive demand for his movies, with all his previous comedies turning into mammoth blockbusters, much like how even this one, ‘Bol Bachchan’, also would.
Now that I’ve established how Rohit’s movies, sensible or not, still make it big, I’ll try to decipher why his latest one appears far more refined, and hence tolerable, than his previous ones.
And, no, it’s not a reflection of his improved directorial skills, but because the story, which he borrowed, legally, from legendary filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1979-classic ‘Golmaal’, is genuinely endearing.
While Rohit very sensibly stayed away from making a scene-to-scene replica, probably because he understands his potential, or lack of it, he has twisted and turned the original plot to fit in with his scheme of incorrigible buffoonery. And, it has worked, for most parts at least.
Ranakpur village turns the backdrop of this comedy of errors, where Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) and his sister Saina (Asin) shift to after losing their belongings in legal battle with their greedy uncle. The brother-sister duo’s plans to start afresh in a village that’s home to their dad’s friend Shastri (Asrani) goes kaput when Abbas finds himself committing a religious mistake on the very first day.
Shastri’s highly-dramatic son Ravi (Krishna Abhishek) bails him out from the wrath of the village supremo Prithviraj (Ajay Devgn) by hiding his real identity and introducing him as Abhishek Bachchan, no less. He’s hoping this wouldn’t ruin his chances at getting an employment at Prithviraj’s palatial house.
What follows is a string of lies to legitimise this propaganda, to ensure Abbas keeps his boss happy and stays employed. More characters are introduced, just like how Hrishikesh did, a drama lady, who eventually turns into Abhishek’s aged mother (Archana Puran Singh) and Abhishek, who doubles up as make-believe twin, non-moustached brother Abbas Ali.
The drill that follows is predictable and tedious, with ample one-liners and clownishness thrown in. There’s also, Rohit’s action staple of flying cars, power-packed punches and kicks that are befitting of superheroes. Only, here there are no capes and costumes, yet the punches make everyone go up in the air, literally.
Writers Farhad and Sajid’s dialogues and screenplay (along with Yunus Sajawal) are fun, especially the ridiculous English dialogues that are Prithviraj’s. “Every penny discounts”, “Your eardrums will start playing drums” and “My chest has become blouse” are just some of the silly ones. There are many that bordered on nonsensical, but this isn’t a movie that takes anything seriously so it’s forgiven. There are ample digs at the stars themselves, that’s pretty outdated by Bollywood standards.
The star of the movie, undoubtedly, is Ajay Devgn. His goof-ups and idiocy as the non-tolerant, straightforward, soft-hearted muscleman Prithviraj is mind-blowing.
And, he effortlessly switches into a hot-head with his action prowess. If only he had found an equal match in Abhishek Bachchan, who does try, a little too hard, in getting his comic timing right. But, alas he just doesn’t. And he genuinely tries to make it work. But prancing around in an effeminate style might evoke a few laughs but that doesn’t need any real talent, does it?
In fact, he’s found the perfect match in Asin. Despite bagging many movies, she’s yet to showcase her talent. She’s painfully dull, and she could partly blame the restrictive script for it. Even Prachi Desai, who plays Ajay’s darling sister, struggles to make an impression. The only female act that’s worth a laugh is that of Archana Puran Singh. She’s brilliant as the struggling drama queen who is reluctant to age.
Clearly, Rohit didn’t want to focus on his female characters. He could’ve even casted unknown faces and it would’ve worked just as well.
So, while his comedy might’ve many takers, unfortunately the purists might baulk at how Rohit has, in a way, ruined a classic.