Movie Review: Bol Bachchan

Bol Bachchan was directed by Rohit Shetty, and features Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Asin. — Courtesy Photo

Ajay Devgn deadpans. Abhishek Bachchan recoils. Archana Puran Singh vamps. And Amitabh Bachchan delivers a forewarning. "Bol achchan" is a killer — as far as English goes.

Once upon a time in old-Bollywood, a mustache made all the difference. Heroes had ‘em. So did villains. Even the leading ladies flaunted them (obviously for comedic purposes). Today, in Rohit Shetty’s “Bol Bachchan”, lifted-off and re-manicured from Hrishikesh Mukerjee’s Golmaal, the mustache serves as a less significant gimmick.

Shetty’s Bol Bachchan is a screw-up that divorces the original version’s astuteness and depth in favor of cheekiness. This “Golmaal’s” principally stars Ajay Devgn, Abhishek  Bachchan and an infinite supply of literal Hindi-to-English translations .

However, even with just these few elements at his disposal Shetty manages to craft a metro-viewer’s worst nightmare: a pun-throttling escapade, scant in sexual-sensationalism and verbal vulgarity that’s safe for family-viewing; considering Bollywood’s recent track record for producing Multiplex friendly, this bit of achievement happens too far and wide each year.

The plot, or what passes on for one, has Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan)and sister Sania (Asin Thottumkal) migrating from Delhi-6 to Ranakpur when their lawyer fails to win their ancestral land.

Ranakpur is in awe of their resident thakur (Virasat anyone?), Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn), a man who values honesty as much body-building and near eradication of spoken English (Prithvi sincerely believes in his mastery, and we along with Abbas turn into his targets). Pretty soon, Abbas Ali becomes Abhishek Bachchan, and then his own gay twin, when lying commandeers their new-shot at life. There’s a less significant, again Virasat-type, subplot about in-family rivalry, that doesn’t shine as much as Archana Puran Singh does in her vampy-best.

Bol Bachchan openly embraces its need to be slapstick and kooky, knocking down, at times ceding reverence to Bollywood’s self-induced conventions. In an early scene we see Ravi Shastri (Krushna Abhishek) — a supporting character, rightly pumped-up for optimum exposure — dramatizing the original Golmaal for stage. The reference shows up again when Radhika (an ineptly written character played by Prachi Desai), Prithviraj’s sister and Abbas’ love interest, watches the same "Golmaal"on television. The climax, then inexplicably hosts a Karz-inspired song performed by Prithvi’s team of body-builders.

Sincerity in comedy, however, rules, and Shetty, whose skill at milking farce is at its epoch. He flaunts well, what is essentially a brain-dead laugh-scapade.

Leave your sanity, and that old copy of the Oxford English Dictionary at home. This one’s a doozy.

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Comments (8) Closed

Jul 31, 2012 09:46am
Not cool dude.. The jokes are trash.. we have been elevated by the comedy circus and its spinoff TV programs. Now having the uncool, slapstick comedy doesnt work anymore.. i am embarassed to see the movie and feel cheap to just be there.
Jul 31, 2012 10:08am
how come i see bollywood reviews here? i heard indian movies are banned in pakistan. i have never come across any pakistan movie or television reviews in indian press...
Jul 31, 2012 12:05pm
"an indian reviewer would never write something like this" You can't be serious!! 90% of Bollywood movies are (rightfully) trashed by reviewers in almost all publications in India. Do you read the Indian press at all, or this is your first attempt at going through a movie review?
Jul 31, 2012 10:42am
Thats not true.Indian Movies are not banned here. They are up for viewing in major cinemas in all almost all cities of the country.
Jul 31, 2012 10:33am
u kidding me? have you ever a read an indian review of a flop movie? No one hides the fact that they watch indian movies in Pakistan. Whats your point?
Jul 31, 2012 04:10am
just as expected. you guys trash indian movies. im sure half the country will still watch it. anything hollywood is naturally better eh? The reviewers on dawn are all so alike. an indian reviewer would never write something like this
Aug 02, 2012 02:59am
I don't know what's wrong with dawn reviewing hindi movies? all international papers do have got to come up with a better perspective and stop with finding ways of fighting. but i guess i cant blame you because your media always finds ways to 'sansanii' your relations with pakistan and now that has impaired your judgement. in short all movies that come to pakistan should be reviewed at dawn regardless of origin...kapish
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Aug 06, 2012 10:55am
just as expected. you guys trash indian movies. im sure half the country will still watch it. anything hollywood is naturally better eh? The reviewers on dawn are all so alike. an indian reviewer would never write something like this