Mere Baap Pehle Aap
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Genelia, Paresh Rawal
Storyline: A 50-year old man tries to find a mate.
Bottomline: A test of patience
Not many understand the joy and the pain of a man looking to start all over again on a clean slate. Not the least among them is good old Priyadarshan who pours such ridicule, such scorn on a man starting late that his film ‘Mere Baap Pehle Aap’ becomes a test of patience.
Agreed, it is a comedy and we should be willing to suspend reason, even keep a little distance from sensitivity.
We, the uncomplaining cinemagoers, could have pardoned Om Puri with his ugly wig and a dance number had the director not been so relentless in his mockery.
Here his 50-year-old man never seems to find logical ways of finding a mate. Now dancing with a bikini-clad Mumait Khan, now entering college, only to be ridiculed for venturing to see a girl thus.
Add to that the cruel case of a son dominating a father — Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal. The former is so belligerent, uses every conceivable word of condescension towards his dad, that he only stops short of physically inflicting violence on the helpless old man. The latter is all pulp, almost in mortal fear of being assailed by his son.
Comedy gives you a leeway, but here was a classic case for the Censors to start looking beyond the skin, note the language, the tenor used in interaction with an old man.
The film has all the trademark punches associated with Priyadarshan — strokes that have served him well over the years at the box office, critics’ contempt notwithstanding. Big havelis with freshly plastered and painted walls, oldies in whites, the hero being the only one given to modern apparel.
The exchanges are outrageously loud, the jokes either banal or threatening to get there. And music a fill-in medium for the sake of the audio cassette companies.
All this supplements a story of two old men trying to find mates for themselves — a bit of a crass ‘Shoukeen’ ? — and a young man, who is alternately verbally violent and unbearable.
Much like the film. Oh, by the way, Genelia makes a comeback to Hindi cinema playing Akshaye’s love interest here.
She too seems to have left her brains behind during a long absence from Bollywood.
Here she plays a girl who mimics people on the phone, then falls in love with the very guy she teases. She could as well have been a flower on the wall. Much like Shobana.
Sorry, fathers and sons, Priyadarshan seems to have messed it up big time with ‘Mere Baap Pehle Aap.’ZIYA US SALAM