Mr. Joe B. Carvalho: Plot gone awry

Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan

Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan  

More often than not Bollywood ushers in the New Year with a dud. Director Samir Tewari keeps the tradition going by putting together an insufferable comedy that tests your sanity. He throws so much trash at you that by the end you start smiling at a blind lady falling from the roof for by then it becomes a matter of survival. Like Utpal Dutt in Golmaal you start smiling in anger so that you survive for another day at the cinemas.

It is supposed to be a satire; it is supposed to be a theatre of the absurd but unfortunately all that remains an idea on paper. On screen it is relentless torture. The irony is it seems deliberate. It seems after the director Samir Tewari arrived at the double meaning title, he realised that it alone will keep the audience amused for two hours.

So, almost every character makes fun of the detective Joe (Arshad Warsi), in search of an important case. Ultimately, he gets an assignment to puncture the possibilities of the marriage of a rich man’s daughter with a driver. Meanwhile, there is another marriage at stake. Here an international hit man called Carlos (Javed Jaffery in different avatars) is called in to scuttle the wedding. Obviously, it leads to confusion as the police officer (Soha Ali Khan) sent to catch Carlos mistakes Joe as the hit man. Tewari has thrown in plenty of characters to turn it into a potpourri. We have Vijay Raaz screaming from one corner and Shakti Kapoor from the other. Then there is a character with an African wig and Marathi accent in the garb of military dictator. Sounds interesting? Not at all as there is no back story, just a series of strident, moronic gags.

Tewari has put together two good actors, who seldom get to ride solo. Perhaps that was the bait; otherwise you don’t expect Arshad and Soha in such a lousy effort. Soha has chosen the wrong vehicle to shed inhibitions. However, the script is too lame to justify her earnestness to get into a bikini, to indulge in a cabaret. Arshad is the saving grace of the film as he manages to keep a straight face amidst this fancy dress show gone awry.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:10:01 PM |

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