How Low Does Nana Patekar Go?
Just because you quote Rumi and get a once-amazing actor to say, ‘Looks like you are in love with the idea of love’ does not a good movie make. Mahie Gill plays a housewife whose husband has not shown up for his first wedding anniversary. Suddenly a poetry, philosophy spouting older man pops up and gives her (and the audience) so much useless homespun advice she falls asleep, and you turn into a zombie and walk out of the theatre.
If there were a prize for a record number of times when a character changes clothes, this movie’s Mahie Gill would be among the frontrunners.
So we see Mahie Gill sashaying in clothes bought off the street in Goa, shopping for this and that, getting a massage, admonishing someone called Nirbhay over the phone, ‘Don’t call me, I’m busy, just call me when you are boarding your flight.’ She sashays past a bunch of tourists who have paid a beggar to show her cleavage! Before you can outrage for the tourists, a man has come and rescued the beggar by offering money to tourists to strip so he could take their pictures. Mahie is standing there shocked and in the next minute she sashays into a cake shop and tells the guy, ‘Make me a cake as gorgeous as I am, my name is Kahani!’ Before she can sashay out you watch many people in the theatre choke over their popcorn. Mahie Gill then comes home which has so many candles, you think it’s a shop for knick knacks.
Predictably the husband (she’s cooking ‘his favorite curry’, has laid out a Kurta and a watch as a present, rearranged flowers and placed the ‘gorgeous’ cake - it’s pineapple cake - on the table and added more candles) tells her on the phone that he’s being interviewed for a fab job with a raise at the airport and he will be taking the later flight.
So Mahie Gill gets angry, cries, changes clothes and lies in bed.
There is a book on the bed which she picks up and opens a random page, and before you know it she is asleep book on her breasts. There is a knock on the door. Mahie Gill runs down the stairs (in different clothes) to open the door to a stranger (Nana Patekar in a role so smarmy it will make you jump into a vat of superglue willingly). The stranger is dressed like Steve Irwin and smells like him too, and before you know it Mahie has asked him to have a bath. Yes, yes, she has realised he is a famous writer who magically knows ‘you place me beside you on your bed, placed me on your breast and you call me a stranger?’
So he’s having a bath in her house. She goes upstairs to find him some clothes. She smells all the clothes in her husband’s closet and decides, she cannot offer him any of those because they ‘all smell of Nirbhay’. Obviously she’s not talking about unwashed clothes, but by this time, you wonder if she’s going to offer him her strange clothes instead. She comes downstairs, and she’s in new clothes.
He comes out of the bathroom wearing the same old clothes that smell of ‘Mehnat ka paseena’ (sweat of the brow, of hard work). Then he magically goes behind a pillar and comes out of the other side wearing a Hawaiian shirt and offers to take her out for dinner only if she changes clothes. She does!
Magically on a motorbike the two ride the moonlit streets, he slams the brakes hard a couple of times so she comes closer, literally, and says, ‘You need to bridge the gap between you and me!’
They eat at a restaurant and come back home. You’re thinking of the curry on the kitchen counter… But woah, she is now cutting the anniversary cake and feeding it to the stranger, who is now wearing the kurta she bought for her husband. Oh, he told her that we will celebrate your anniversary when you change your clothes! She does and he has lit all the candles and they dance to some song.
She has changed more clothes - each one more inappropriate than the previous one and you wonder how the once talented Mahie Gill is now reduced to this. But the worst part is to watch Nana Patekar spout homilies in a bored voice. So bored, you don’t want to know what he said. Shame what what once-great actors are reduced to doing and you hate watching him ham as though he’s the best thing that happened to the movies.
Between the changing of Mahie’s clothes and hamming by Nana Patekar you are shown many different kinds of love: girl pretends to faint and says she loves seeing fear in her boyfriend’s eyes, a young lothario who seduces tourists for their money, a spa worker who knows her lover is cheating but won’t stop loving him, a young lad who drops his girl to meet her older lover and waits for her outside the restaurant, a couple besieged by jealousy, and one of the more ghastly examples, the older woman at a club where a boring item number happens, makes a silly proposition at a young guy who says, ‘I haven’t done this before but I’m not a virgin.’
You don’t want to see any more, but there’s more clothes changing you must suffer. You hear Nana Patekar mutter rubbish like, ‘Morning changes to evening and evening changes to night, just like that the definition of life and loves change.’
You laugh out loud because at that last word, Mahie has changed her clothes! There is another song, this time a Hindustani classical style song sung by a woman in a ginormous bosom and a white floaty chiffon dress who appears out of nowhere. Mahie is jealous (don’t ask!) and asks the stranger to leave. Thankfully he does. And when Mahie goes up to get into her night shirt (yes, another change of clothes) her husband shows up. They cut the cake (oooh! It’s intact!), hug and dance and he gives her an anniversary present and the earlier classical song begins to play again. The moments credits roll, you make your way to the nearest exit. You don’t want to see the Rumi quote or watch Nana Patekar actually lip synch the song...
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)