Even if you miss the entire first half of the film or catch it 10 minutes before the halfway point, you will miss absolutely nothing in Rumi Jaffery's Gali Gali Chor Hai. It's the same gag done again and again. Common man needs to get things done, bribes A, bribes B, bribes C, bribes D on loop as endless shots of Bharat (Akshaye Khanna) taking out his wallet to pay a corrupt official play out to the tune of the title song as he tries to recover a table fan stolen from his house. Thanks to that jingle treatment, after a while, even Kailash Kher's energetically performed, somewhat catchy title song gets annoying.
To evoke memories of the masterpiece of the genre, Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, and its epic Mahabharat scene, this satire resorts to a running subplot involving a Ramayan stage play. There are a few earnest moments in the film and some clever metaphors (like the fan that becomes a bomb), but most of its sincerity is diluted halfway by the blatantly thrust in-your-face item number by Veena Malik whose wardrobe's only function is not to ('Shanno' is not a spoof but a celebration of the Sheelas and Munnis... a more titillating one at that).
Akshaye Khanna tries hard to keep a serious, straight face throughout the film but this is a narrative that makes him do the same scene in different locations. Outdoors, bribe. Indoors, have your wife (poor Shriya Saran is wasted) suspect that you're having an affair with the tenant (Mughda Godse). At least giving these ladies each other's roles might have added a little spice to their characters. So, it's left entirely to the support cast of Satish Kaushik, Annu Kapoor and Vijay Raaz to infuse some energy into this film that feels like a longish street play.
It jars to see a satire hold back the punches and then take itself seriously in the final act. If the idea is to give the system one tight slap, the worst way to do it is literally. Gali Gali not just does that literally but also spells it out for you with expository dialogue.
Gali Gali Chor Hai
Director: Rumi Jaffery
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran, Mughda Godse, Satish Kaushik
Storyline: Trials and tribulations of a common man who runs from pillar to post for recovering a table fan stolen from his house years ago
Bottomline: Great premise let down by old school treatment and repetitive gags.