Friday, October 10, 2014

21 Topon Ki Salami

Good Idea, Great Moments Murdered By Music

one and a half star

Mini Review:

It's like riding a one trick pony that has been nailed to a carousel that plays the most annoying music from the beginning of the movie until the end credits. It's a great idea, hilarious in parts, but the idea gets dragged on and on and on and on and you wish there was a fast forward button on the film.

Main Review:

Before anything else, let is salute the fun talent that is Neha Dhupia. She plays the seductive siren, the politician's 'rakhail' with so much gusto that you cannot help but smile each time she appears on screen. The item number she performs - a spoof of Bollywood hits - is so good, it doesn't matter what the song is, what the tune is, she owns the screen. She alone takes the one star that has been awarded to the film.

The half star is earned by the rest of the film. It's a great idea, a great cast, and some really great laughs, but they get so involved with the joke, they don't know when to stop and go forward. 

Sometimes you feel like it's a saas bahu serial, with everyone in the room getting a reaction shot (when they decide to substitute a corpse with a live person, there are five people in the scene, everyone gets a reaction shot and you in the audience want to say, 'Understood. Now get on with it!'). Sometimes, it's like a comedy sketch that gives the punch line away in the beginning and continues to say the same thing (as when Anupam Kher wants to sign out his machine and the officer is watching porn. We see the girl strip on the screen rightaway, and know why there is a delay in the sign-out, but the scene goes on and on and on). And at other times, you don't know why they want to sing songs that are unbelievably forgettable, and are an obvious intrusion in the narrative.

I am assured that no movie works without songs, and I have admitted that the item number performed by Neha Dhupia was shot brilliantly but don't remember the words or the tune. But the romantic track when the hero and the heroine sing was absolutely needless and forgettable. And the English rap-like pointless refrain which popped up every time the characters decided to break the rules, was like slapping the audience to say, 'Since you are too dumb to see that the characters are about to do something satirical, here is music!' The absolutely daft and unclear rap ditty (all the characters were suddenly shown wearing 'hip' clothes and dancing 'pop' style during the end credits made no sense whatsoever. It was just some guy at a mic shouting out words (accompanied with those hand gestures) that made little sense when the audience is trying to get out of the noise without tripping on the popcorn on the floor.

Yes, there are funny moments (most belong to the brilliantly spoofy Neha Dhupia), but then they could have been funnier had they not been so long winded. Take the hilarious event I have mentioned before where someone pretends to be a corpse. It gets funny when he falls asleep and begins to snore under the white sheet. Instead of only showing it and allowing the audience to laugh as the scene unfolds, the director has a character make a telephone call to another character asking, 'What do I do now that babuji is snoring under the sheet?'. The movie is full of such explained gags. It just goes to make the film unbearably long. Had they not felt the need to tell the audience, the film would have been at least 45 minutes shorter and far crisper and funnier. 

Also I would have paid attention to little details and made the characters remove their shoes before they lit the pyre...

Watch the movie when they release it on TV. Otherwise you'll just suffer its length and the incessant background score.


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