‘Bachelor Party’ movie review: Diganth, Yogi salvage this middling comedy drama

Abhijit Mahesh’s directorial debut, produced by Rakshit Shetty, is bogged down by lack of freshness as it succeeds partially in delivering an all-out comedy

Published - January 25, 2024 03:28 pm IST

Yogi and Diganth Manchale in ‘Bachelor Party’.

Yogi and Diganth Manchale in ‘Bachelor Party’. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It seems like the cast and crew of Bachelor Party, produced by Rakshit Shetty, had a great time shooting the comedy-drama. But does their fun translate to entertainment for those watching the movie? Well... yes and no.

Abhijit Mahesh’s directorial debut begins in a promising manner. The premise of a meek protagonist struggling as a software engineer and stuck in a bad marriage, is established well with some satirical yet relatable sequences. Santhosh (Diganth Manchale gives his all to a one-dimensional character) is terrified by his wife, who gets angry at him at the drop of a hat. The piling EMIs and a biased boss make Santhosh’s professional life miserable.

In the beginning, even if the film isn’t a riot, it offers giggle-worthy moments, like the sequence that shows Santhosh attending a seminar by Mr. Lobo (filmmaker Pawan Kumar in a cameo) on happy marriages. It’s hilarious when Lobo reveals actor Johnny Depp as one of his clients seeking a mantra for a perfect relationship.

A bad marriage is a common idea to explore humour. So, for it to click every time, the old trope needs to be refined with freshness. However, in Bachelor Party, this concept gets stretched needlessly, triggering our first sign of disinterest in the movie.

We wait for a seismic shift to push the movie into a peppy zone, and it happens when Santhosh wakes up with his school friend Maddy (Yogi) and his physical education teacher (Achyuth) in Bangkok after a bachelor party that obviously involved binge-drinking and blacking out. This twist is a nod to The Hangover 2, and just like in the Todd Philips movie, there is a search for an important person here as well.

Bachelor Party (Kannada)
Director: Abhijit Mahesh
Cast: Diganth Manchale, Yogi, Achyuth Kumar, Balaji Manohar, Prakash Thuminad, Siri Ravikumar
Runtime: 145 minutes
Storyline: A meek youngster, stuck in a bad marriage, and a miserable life, lands up in Bangkok with his school friend and teacher after a bachelor party. A bigger surprise awaits him even as he gets ready to return home

Bachelor Party aspires to be a film that wants to offer laughs at every turn. It sacrifices emotional beats and a coherent screenplay for witty replies and bizarre situations. So, we have no choice but to hope every scene is as humorous as the previous scene. It’s a challenging task, and Abhijit’s writing fails in the process. While some dialogues are outright funny, some are shockingly flat.

Achyuth Kumar, Yogi and Diganth Manchale in ‘Bachelor Party’.

Achyuth Kumar, Yogi and Diganth Manchale in ‘Bachelor Party’. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Unfortunately, Abhijit’s attempt at situational comedy is a misfire. A couple of flashbacks and chases are tough to sit through, and not all of the weird characters leave us in splits. For instance, Balaji Manohar gets wasted in the role of a drug dealer who is supposed to be comical for his tall claims as a dangerous person. The less said the better about the cliche-ridden female characters.

The plot points get immense build up, but they don’t offer satisfying payoffs. Hence, even if we find the film partially funny and adventurous, it never ends up being truly gripping.

The characters also don’t get a solid arch. For Santhosh, whose traditional mindset doesn’t allow him to walk out of his marriage, the trip to Bangkok with two contrasting people isn’t therapy. He remains a grumbling man who blames others for his fate. Maddy, a notorious criminal with a good heart, has no realisation of his actions.

Thankfully, the actors salvage this largely meandering film. Yogi, as the free-spirited-yet-aimless youth, is convincing, thanks to his excellent dialogue delivery. Prakash Thuminad, as the owner of a South Indian restaurant in Bangkok with a special interest in music, shines again in a comic role. Arjun Ram’s catchy music is another positive, with his songs lifting the film from its slumber more than once.

ALSO READ:How Darshan’s ‘Kaatera’ is bringing joy to single-screen theatres across Karnataka

The chaotic climax reminiscent of a Priyadarshan movie notwithstanding, Bachelor Party concludes as a film targeted at those who don’t look beyond the generic idea of “mere entertainment”. There is always excitement when a gifted writer turns filmmaker. Abhijit, who pushed his creative boundaries as a writer in Kirik Party and Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaaleseems to have stumbled at enhancing a script full of potential. Bachelor Party, which mixes all types of comedy genres, is for those hungry for the next joke at the expense of a well-constructed film.

Bachelor Party is currently running in theatres.

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