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Friday, October 31, 2008

Movie Review : Golmaal Returns

Rohit Shetty
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Arshad Warsi

The breaking news is that Golmaal Returns is a clear rip-off of a 1973 Hindi film Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar . And though the era-old film was a decent story in itself and even remade as a Marathi film in the 80s, the Golmaal sequel doesn’t match up to either while deriving from both.

Gopal (Ajay Devgan) is married to a size-zero couch potato Ekta (Kareena Kapoor) who, influenced by her K-serials, keeps suspecting her husband at the slightest provocation. One fateful night Gopal gets stranded in a yacht with Mira (Celina Jaitley). While framing a fake story to suit her wife, Gopal spontaneously invents Anthony Gonsalves as his friend cum previous night partner. He makes his office subordinate Laxman Prasad (Shreyas Talpade) his partner in crime, posing him as Anthony Gonsalves.

While seeking inspiration so far from the original, the writer attempts to infuse uncalled for innovation by adding a murder mystery to the plot with Inspector Madhav (Arshad Warsi) suspecting Gopal behind the killing. The screenplay is reworked to accommodate the leading quartet and is revised with spoofs so contemporary that at times it makes you wonder if the script drafts were devised on the sets.

There are subtle references to the earlier episode though this one isn’t a continuation of the first part. Vrajesh Hirjee’s serpentine act is repeated from the original and there’s also a tribute-cum-takeoff on the missing member Sharman Joshi. The film takes forward its legacy of ‘Black comedy’ and also adds Bhansali’s Saawariya to the spoof-list. The humour varies from superior to slapdash variety ranging from subtle satire on Saif-Kareena tattoos to the overstated Ekta Kapoor soap spoofs. There are some intended parodies which never take off like the character names Gopal Kumar Santoshi and Mira Nair. Then there are some jokes that clearly fall flat like the Ajay Devgan – Celina Jaitley salsa sequence on the yacht.

The writer wittily evades the censor scissors by having the mute Tusshar Kapoor indulge in most of the cursing. But script supervisor Robin Bhatt keeps making intermittent appearances with some lame internet jokes. Sample one gem of a dialogue when Kareena says, “Main serial watcher hoon aur mere pati serial killer nahi ho sakte”. The first half is thankfully devoid of any song tracks and you don’t mind excusing the only action item number in the second half that is declared to be derived from Rajnikant’s Sivaji – The Boss.

In trademark Anees Bazmee – Priyadarshan brand of comedies, the climax gets together the entire cast including supporting actors to villain sidekicks for a silly and intentionally exaggerated ending.

Tusshar Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade share capable chemistry and comic timing in the film and come up with the most entertaining acts. Tusshar’s mute act ranges from the absolutely incomprehensible to the palpably peculiar antics. Shreyas has a natural flair for comedy and makes you laugh with effortless ease. Ajay Devgan is decent but Arshad Warsi is underused. Amrita Arora can’t act to save her life and while not much is expected from Celina or Anjana, even Kareena fails to impress. Her talent isn’t justified in her shallow characterization.

Golmaal Returns reloads its cast with some new girls but doesn’t replenish its humour with more wit and imaginative gags.

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