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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Buddha Mar Gaya Movie Review

There was a time throughout the 80s when films starring Kader Khan and Shakti Kapoor in comic roles were big hits. While most of them had Jeetendra (and later Govinda or Jackie Shroff as the heroes), the right spice in the form of comic duo only added on to the flavor.

Most of the jokes used to be below the belt with a holds-no-bar approach. Later, emergence of films like ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ and ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ proved to be a spanner in making of such films though David Dhawan had his occasional stint with such cinema with films like ‘Raja Babu’ and ‘Andaaz’.

Multiplex boom more or less killed this kind of cinema which was more prevalent in small cities and towns with some audience in single screen cinemas of big cities still showing their loyalty. Yes, there have been an occasional all over hits like ‘Masti’, ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum’ and ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ as well but they have found their own share of detractors.

Rahul Rawail can expect the same with his ‘Buddha Mar Gaya’ as well which just doesn’t total up the risqué humor of the three films; it in fact multiples them and raises it by the power of 2!

Picture this. A young ‘main-bhi-banoongi-starlet’ Rakhi Sawant comes with a unique trait of killing people on bed, although unintentionally, as they try to struggle with her. In the end, she does adopt ‘sanyaas’, though not before being responsible for a dozen off corpses on the stairs up to the temple.

On the other hand an old business tycoon (played by Anupam Kher) has enjoyed life to the fullest. He has not just amassed immense wealth and given birth to two good for nothing sons, he has also been ‘responsible’ for the birth of his grandson!

Not just that, he has slept with the movers-and-shakers of the city who have been responsible for the law and order of the city. Watch the film to know how one of them finally reveals his identity!

But the cake is taken by the character played by Om Puri. Probably the most original character ever written for a mainstream Bollywood film, his ‘baba’ act is to be seen to be believed. No, he doesn’t go ‘Hari Om’ for religious reasons. It is his contribution to all the ‘tension’ in the house which makes him utter these words, so much so that one fine evening he even bows down before God to ‘relieve’ him of all the ‘tension’. Yet again, check out the film to know more about his own problems!

Dying of ‘buddha’ results in trouble for all who were closely and not so associated with him. His sons, sister, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, loyal servant, political contacts, business partners, investors – everyone seems to be worried more about their own share of pie than him going away to heavenly abode. The mayhem which follows is entertaining enough to keep the audience laughing along for next 100 minutes that follow.

Rahul Rawail adopts the approach of filming BUDDHA MAR GAYA as if the scenes were unfolding as a theater play. This is the reason why most of the scenes appear as an act with dozen odd actors sharing screen space and getting a chance to mouth a dialogue or two without scenes being jumping too frequently.

Does the experiment work? Yes, it does as such cinema is hardly being made currently. Also, to add authenticity to the film making style, majority of it is shot in synch sound which gives an impression of a scene being enacted live in front of you.

With all these characters on the frame, none would feel let down since Rawail does well to give each of them good platform to act well. In fact none of them disappoint as they all act loud, but are competent as required by the genre of the film.

What works in the film’s favor is a definite characterization of each and every actor in the film. In spite of a dozen odd characters around, you take home each of them while remembering their distinct traits. There is a ‘gharelu bahu’ [Mona Ambegaonkar] who shows her true colors later on, another ‘bahu’ [Mannat Kaur] who was once a bar dancer, an intimidating ‘bua’ [Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal] who was once a beggar, a ‘baba’ [Om Puri] who used to be a ‘madari’, a grand daughter who lives her passion of being a surgeon by cutting off dead Kher’s body into parts, another one who would go any distance to be an item girl, a grand son who finds out that he is his own nephew (check this one out) and a son [Mukesh Tiwari] who detests his wife due to his ‘extra marital affair’!

Apart from the immediate family, there is also a servant [Paresh Rawal] who is no more loyal, ‘sadakchaap munnabhai’ [Ranvir Shorey] who deals in corpses, a music company owner [Prem Chopra] who announces the world ‘mera naam hai Prem Chopra’, a duo of investors who get their piece of action from a local hooker even as they attend a cremation and a doctor [Vinay Pathak] who is willing to take a risk while struggling with his patient Rakhi!

Does all this makes you turn away from the screen as the film is on? No, but then you are required to be open to watch such cinema and come with an ability of laughing at the jokes, howsoever below the belt they may sound. There is no visual vulgarity for sure but the ‘sex’ word streams across the film’s narrative in some format or other.

Be prepared!


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