Rohit Shetty's signature style doesn't change with the genre. So you know what to expect with “Bol Bachchan”.
There is little room for doubt or indecision when it comes to a Rohit Shetty film: you either like his directorial style or you don't. Judging by the Rs.100 crore-and-more collections of his last two movies — “Singham” (2011) and “Golmaal 3” (2010) — most Indians like it. If you’re one of them, perhaps you won't read any further because you know exactly what you're looking for, and will get.
Movie after movie Shetty delivers with a signature that doesn’t change with the genre. Comedy or action, he has patented an unpretentiously, unambiguously populist style that is over-the-top in every which way (including, yes, revenues).
The stupendous success of “Singham” and the “Golmaal” franchise has allowed Shetty to pick up bigger stars with each succeeding film. If “Singham” had Ajay Devgn, “Bol Bachchan” has him along with Abhishek Bachchan and his father Amitabh for good measure. Bachchan Sr has even sung a song (don’t need to tell you it's the title song) for a dance number.
You can guess what the humour’s going to be like when Devgn plays a mean-looking pehelwan with the suitably macho name of Prithviraj Raghuvanshi but somewhat challenged English skills.
Bachchan Jr essays a double role, one of which, as Abbas Ali, is rather effeminate (“Dostana” was one of his most successful movies, so…). The gags are inbuilt — mistaken identities, testosterone factory vs limp wrist, jumbled Hinglish and the resultant opportunities for off-colour jokes and cheesy dialogue. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’'d have noticed that Devgn even reprises his “Singham” dialogue, “Aata majhi satakli” (loosely translated as “Now I’ve really lost it).
As for the storyline, we’re told that it is loosely based on that of the cult 1979 movie “Gol Maal”, directed by the masterly Hrishikesh Mukherjee. (No doubt the irony is not lost on audiences.) In the original, a restrained Amol Palekar played the young suitor who pretends to like moustaches, short kurtas and have a twin brother. He was pitted against Utpal Dutt, hamming away gloriously in one of his most memorable roles in Hindi cinema. The humour was sometimes slapstick, sometimes restrained, always brilliant.
“Bol Bachchan” has a tough act to follow. To his credit, that does not seem to be a challenge that holds Shetty back from pulling his over-the-top punches. This one will be all his own.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai
Director: Rohit Shetty
Release: July 6 2012