Friday, January 31, 2014

One By Two

half star

'I'm Pakaoed, I'm Pakaoed!'

Mini Review:

One Hundred and Thirty Nine minutes of contrived situations and cringe-inducing dialog later, the cinematic meet-cute happens. Except that you have been ready to go home an hour earlier.

Main Review:

It's a Bollywood tradition, we ignore all logic, ignore all young newcomers (from Pyar Ka Punchnama, Love Sex Dhoka to Student Of The Year) and will continue to cast heroes like Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Jeetendra, even Sanjeev Kumar as college dudes. Here, thankfully, Abhay Deol is not a college dude, but close. He's a sort of copywriter/creative person who works in a cubicle, and clearly years older than his two young colleagues. I don't mind if he lives with his mum and dad and watches TV with them, but he's clearly too old to be the lad whose mum buys underwear for him. It's not cute to see a grown up man waking up with an undie over his face.

Also not cute is the constant reference to bodily functions and scenes set in toilets. Salman Khan letting go of one on the terrace when he thinks he is alone in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was actually funny. You remember the dialog, 'Sameer! Hawa ka jhonka!' and giggle when Aishwarya Rai catches him in the act. Here, it's not once, not twice, but four or five times that Abhay Deol farts. And they do not sound funny. The people sitting next to him in the scene vanish saying that the farts stink. You wish you could do the same from the theater, and exit before you see both the hero and heroine exchange metaphors related to the Coeliac Flux, the Bondi Cigars, the Chocolate Bananas, the Fart Surprises, the Grunties, or Tatti, if you are feeling particularly desi.

The movie did start rather stylishly with a song and one settled down in the seat hoping for a another crackling Abhay Deol movie like Dev D. And when you get over silly toys and well appointed rooms (take half a star, production design team), you find yourself wishing this were Aisha (the desi Jane Austen wallah Emma).

The meet-cute is so contrived, you want to hit someone over the head. Yes, we got the idea of two parallel lives and 'almost-met' moments. But all that cleverness gets drowned by the horrendous reality show plot. You can see from a mile away that the heroine can't dance sala. And you've seen Lafangey Parinde years ago to know the reality show thing doesn't work. It works only if you have Prabhu Dheva and a bunch of real dancers being directed by choreographer Remo D'Souza in Any Body Can Dance. The heroine's dance is just outtakes from a shampoo commercial. Shaking your curls from side to side in slow motion or wearing leg warmers is not dance. And screaming inside the waters of the swimming pool distracted more than this reviewer into wondering, 'where did I see this before?' (thanks to Google, we have the answer: The Descendants: , and also in Dario Argento's Inferno: )

Agreed that this movie stays true to the Bollywood tradition of launching girlfriends and wives on the big screen. You saw the recent disaster called Jai Ho, where the heroine (allegedly Salman Khan's latest arm candy) is a trained dancer in real life, and on screen begins to dance in every possible frame whether required or no! Remember the John Abraham starrer Jhootha Hi Sahi? That was the launchpad of the heroine who is the wife of the director... Here Preeti Desai and her ghastly 'London-born-and-brought-up' accent ('brought up by who?' is a question you are not allowed to ask in a Hindi film) makes you yearn to hear London returned Rani Mukherjee sing Om Jai Jagdish Hare...

The movie is so tedious, you don't care about any character or their forced quirkiness. Not the table tennis playing parents, not the poetry reciting parents, not even the idiotic colleague Debu. Forget about the tapori dance boy or the we-fight-because-we're-attracted-to-each-other friends... You just want to kneel in front of the Reality Show Gods and ask for forgiveness, promising them that you will watch Rakhi Sawant's wedding show again and again but no more movies with reality shows as a plot device. Because everything in the movie is summed by Abhay Deol himself when he sings (in his undies): 'I'm Pakaoed! I'm Pakaoed!'     

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