GRAND MASTI

Prudery can take cover as Indra Kumar opens news vistas for the lowest-common denominator. As far as the genre of adult comedy is concerned, it is one step ahead of No Entry and Masti variety and, perhaps that’s why Kumar, who has moved from titles like Dil and Ishq to Dhamaal and Masti has put Grand in front of it and is flaunting the adult certificate as a carrot to set the adolescents in all age groups — one doesn’t believe he is really looking for adults — drooling. Otherwise as far as cinematic form is concerned it is nothing more than a cheap revelry that could be watched with bosom buddies for some corny jokes.

Though it is the story of three married men, who go astray, Kumar is not looking for the family audience here. With a storyline that can give a wafer superiority complex, Kumar repeats the idea of the original. It is our variety of The Hangover . Bored of the dal-chawal at home, the boys, yes they refuse to grow up, try to have some fun at college reunion but inadvertently get trapped. There is very little left for imagination as Kumar turns suggestive humour into an in-your-face expression with relentless jokes employing male and female form. You know it is all in the mind. Nothing is sacrosanct here and after writing this film there must be very little left in the closet of Milap Zaveri, who is a master at finding double meaning in the most innocuous of lines and situations. Here, he promises to teach us the new A,B,C of obscenity. But naming characters as Rose, Mary and Marlow is elementary and a busty woman claiming that she has two milk factories has always been in the syllabus of boys. You can sense evolution in the writing as the female characters don’t even show their customary dislike to the line of humour that consistently disrespects women. In fact, they are shown eager to join the party. In a scene the boys are shown to be rubbed from one side by their wives and from the other by their paramours. Ultimate male fantasy! This is what Kumar is catering to, and yes, he doesn’t cut to a dream sequence to incorporate it. This is his craft.

The saving grace is nobody is taking himself seriously as the film takes us so far from reality that when relations like father-daughter and teacher-student lose their sanctity your morality doesn’t get tested. There is only sex on Kumar’s mind and the aim is to turn on the target audience. And in Vivek Oberoi, Ritesh Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani he has players, who know this game well. On their own they might not be able to carry even a television episode but when they hunt in pair, you don’t mind some moments of daftness. Particularly, Riteish Deshmukh. He has been in many such films and here again he plays out the situational humour with gusto. More than the lines it is the way he says them that makes you give in to the stupidity. There is very little difference between female actors and mannequins here and Karishma Tanna, Manjari Phadnis, Kainaat Arora and Bruna Abdullah doll up for the occasion. In fact, there is Freudian slip in the film where Vivek fails to differentiate between the two. So much for depth!

As is usually the case with such ventures, by the second hour Milap runs out of gas and like in the climax, where a rope couldn’t be formed from the skimpy dresses of the girls to save the boys, his jokes prove inadequate in keeping us hooked to the charade.

JOHN DAY

John Day loses his daughter to a freak accident. His wife goes into a depression. There is more. The honest man works as a manager in a bank where some real estate sharks have placed secret papers of a land deal which is actually a scam. He is blackmailed into allowing a robbery in the bank. Cut to a dishonest police officer with a troubled childhood. He is out to take out those papers for his political and criminal masters. Sounds like a compelling indigenous recipe for a dark thriller but it turns out that the debutant director Ahishor Solomon is looking at us through Spanish shades. As a result the picture is not clear.

Logic, pace and tautness are the main ingredients of a thriller and Solomon’s work disappoints on all the three counts. He keeps the cards close to his chest for so long that we lose interest. When he reveals them, we realise that his intentions are noble but still couldn’t satiate many of the crucial whys. The relentless blood and gore is more to seek attention than required by the narrative.

The depravity that the animal called man can indulge into somehow fails to transcend through the screen. Like the title, it seems the blood is being sprayed for effect. The slow simmering of emotions fails to provide an insight into the core of the characters. We do get to know the character sketch but nothing more.

One of the co-producers of the film was behind A Wednesday and after a point it seems that the narrative has been forced to play out in the fashion of Neeraj Pandey’s film. Naseeruddin Shah presence and eagerness to be the hero of the piece makes it all the more apparent but there is a difference of day and night between the two films. Here, as the common man who picks up the gun to seek revenge, Shah is left to fend for himself as the script is sketchy and the camera work gimmicky. As the police officer with a violent streak who not only extracts information from the criminals but also their tongue and teeth, Randeep Hooda fires blank shots to gain our empathy. His brooding is supposed to disturb you but it leaves you distraught for his lack of grasp of the character. It becomes all the more clear because he shares the frames with the outstanding Vipin Sharma, who plays his aide. At times you feel if it would have come from Mahesh Bhatt’s stable we would have felt this murky world much more. Elena Kazan looks like a poor copy of Kangna Ranaut as she plays the girl on the edge. The problem is with the writing. A few more drafts would have helped. Here the characters talk of events of their tumultuous past.

Perhaps, Solomon would have been better placed if he had shown us some of these disturbing features. Similarly characters trail off talking about what their father or mother told them.

It happens when you don’t give your words time to breath, it happens when you don’t think visually. A sad day at work!