NEW DELHI

Of hearty laughs, breathtaking action and American desis Cinema

RANA SIDDIQUI

DHOL

(At Delite and other theatres in Delhi and elsewhere)

And we thought Priyadarshan would give us a neat comedy! Yes, comedy it is, but a slapstick one, with a lot of “pun-intended” dialogue and situations. He certainly knows what sells!

Like his other comedy films over the years, this one here now is also picked up from an older film — “Parda Hai Parda”, a K. Bapaiah film that we saw 15 years ago. The seed of the plot is from here — a sister comes to the city in search of her brother and his wife — and the rest is Priyadarshan’s own imagination. Hence the cut-paste job is clearly visible.

The first half is the story of four educated unemployed guys played by Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Sharman Joshi and Rajpal Yadav. And the second half, the chase for a dhol!

After making several fruitless efforts to make money, the young boys decide to woo and marry a rich girl and become wealthy overnight. Enter Ritu Tripathi, played by Tanushree. She is here to find the cause of the death of her elder brother, meet his four dear friends, and the man whom her brother had decided to get her engaged to. And so the unemployed foursome poses as his friends.

She becomes friendly with them and even decides to marry one of them, before the whole story takes a turn. No rewards for guessing what. It is followed by the entry of the villains and a chase for a mysterious “dhol”.

To be sure, Priyan weaves together the events and songs smartly. He gets a hearty laugh out of almost every dialogue. The humour comes through in the scenes where the boys try to make money and impress Ritu’s grandparents. The chemistry among the four boys contributes to their perfect comic timing. Thankfully Tanushree and Payal Rohtagi do get a chance to act.

Go for it if you don’t mind loud, upfront humour. The refreshing news is there is little skin show. But remember to leave your brains behind at home, please.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

(Satyam Cineplex, Delhi, and other theatres)

Thank God! We probably wouldn’t have liked to see Jason Bourne trying to connect the loose ends to discover his identity in the next sequel as well. It’s not a James Bond or Harry Potter film, mind you. Director Paul Greengrass probably realised that, and thus decided to reveal the mystery behind Jason Bourne’s identity in this film. Based loosely on Robert Ludlum’s novels of the same name, the character of Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, attempts to discover his own identity through Greengrass’ two sequels: “The Bourne Identity” in 2002 and “The Bourne Supremacy” in 2004.

In “The Bourne Ultimatum” he plays smarter. Within minutes he hops from Moscow to Paris, London to Madrid and New York. Using his expertise with computers and mobiles, he is able to lay his hands on Simon Ross, correspondent of The Guardian, who seems to know about Jason’s real identity. How he reaches him through a maze of local roads and malls and saves him from the “attackers” who don’t want Ross to meet Jason is spectacularly picturised through short quick cuts.

The CIA element adds to the excitement. It sounds a little unconvincing at the end as to how and why one David Webb volunteers to become Jason Bourne to “save American lives”. Towards the end, the black sheep of the CIA are exposed, but before that Bourne is shot dead. But the hero never dies, you know!

Though action-packed, the film seems a little too lengthy, especially after the Ross episode. Some sharper editing would have helped. Plots and sub-plots slow down much of its speed. And yet you don’t mind it for its energy that glues you to your seat. A deadpan Damon plays an excellent foil to Scott Glenn who plays Ezra Kramer.

Go for it to witness very smart moves that you and I cannot even think of attempting.

LOINS OF PUNJAB PRESENTS

(PVR Plaza, Delhi, and other theatres)

This one is a hilarious take on American desis, their aspirations, hopes, desires, schemes and their lobbying. Tightly woven, the story revolves round a singing contest, “American Desi Idol”, meant for Indians living in America. The winner would get all of U.S. $25,000.

Naturally the participants are from all walks of life. From the over-protected 17-year-old Preety Patel played by Ishiita Sharma to the middle-aged, well-connected shallow socialite, Mrs. Rrita Kapoor (who spells her name with two R’s for the sake of numerology!) played by Shabana Azmi. From the native American Josh who loves India, played by Micheal Raimondi, to an Indian American who aspires to become a Bollywood actor, played by Seema Rahmani, and many more. There is Ayesha Dharkar, too, who plays Josh’s beloved. Director Manish Acharya himself plays a small role (Vikram Tejwani). The film revolves round the contestants, the judges and the event management company run by Mr. Bokade (Jameel Khan). The latter can go to any extent to get business for his company, even twist the contest in someone’s favour! The stuff of comedy is all in place.

The film is not about the singing contest but about what goes on behind the dais in the “making” of an idol. Kapoor, being a celebrity, gets preferential treatment — so much so that she can enter the contest with her dog, and sing out of turn!

A must-watch film that takes you deep into the hearts and minds of the “American Indians” who have gone there chasing the billion-dollar dream. No, it is not a sad account of the Indian community struggling there, but depicts how they have secured a comfortable position there -- to the point of being able to mock at the Americans! It mirrors the Indians oscillating between two cultures. The film is about their strengths, as also about their penchant for lobbying and the cut-throat competition within the community. It brings out the home truth that if one’s fellow expatriates reduce one to tears, they are the ones who provide the happy moments too. Rarely has the Indian community living in the U.S. been portrayed so beautifully. Do go for it. It’s a sheer pleasure of 90 minutes with no technology-heavy scenes, just plenty of emotions.

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