In 2003, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza made their debut in Bollywood with the same movie playing a lovey dovey couple (I presume!) Soon rumor-mills were churning news of their off screen relationship and sure enough it turned out to be true. Fast forward to 2012 now when they are about to tie the knot, they have another phillum starring them as the lead pair (after having shared screen space with numerous others). The result? A pretty decent rom-com which is bound to appeal to masses, if not the classes.
Riteish plays Viren (aka Chotu, during the second half of the flick) a simple lad who enjoys his simple life and plans on opening his own travel agency business with the money he has saved over a course of six years driving an autorickshaw for his rather sardar owner, played by Tinu Anand (a rather hammed up sardar). Genelia is Minnie, the Canadian born free spirited bubbly daughter of Tinu Anand’s character , who is going through the arduous and mundane task of selecting a groom for herself, obviously due to the pressure from her histrionic pappa. She has a desire to embark on some more adventurous rides before she settles down with a partner of her choice.
Events take place and it turns out that our protagonist’s savings (which he very “cleverly” hid under the seat of the rickshaw he drove) have been lost thanks to Bhatti’s move to sell off his auto-rickshaws and buy cars to open his own travel agency (borrowing from Viren’s dream which he very innocently blurts out to the groggy eyed Bhatti). An inebriated Viren crashes at Bhatti’s residence and starts threatening Bhatti just as Minnie is getting engaged to a rather stereotyped Delhi boy. Our spunky lass hits on the brilliant idea of taking advantage of the rather clumsy and drunk simpleton by pretending to be kidnaped by him. What ensues is a fun-on-the-run kinda mild comedy (mild because I didn’t find my self holding my belly while giggling at the lame one liners) during the first half of the movie. And of course the free spirited lass and the timid simpleton begin to fall in love with each other during these antics.
However the second half takes on a completely fresh take on the plot when it is revealed that our rickshaw driving simpleton is in fact the son of a Jat named Chaudhary (brilliantly portrayed by Om Puri) who is the patriarch of an infamous household that perpetrates ransom kidnapping in broad daylight. Turns out Viren did not want to live off his father’s ill-gotten money and decided to run away six years ago to make an honest living. Chaudhary however still hopes to pass on the torch to his only son and has him tracked and brought back in hopes of knocking some sense into him. Along the way he also decides to demand ransom money for Minnie (after all money is the main aim here!) from her pappa, but promises that she will be treated as one of the family during her stay at his mansion. The story, now follows the various colorful characters at this “Agva House” and how our bubbly free-spirited Minnie leaves an endearing impression on all of them.
As expected, a hinderacne (a rather lame one at that!) in the love story of the two budding romantics, threatens to tear them apart forever and add a little tension to the plot. How our protagonists overcome this and what happens to their romance is what the climax is all about (Duh!)
As far as performances go, from the lead pair, Genelia stole the show on multiple occasions whereas Ritesh seemed a little lost at times, but managed to match his real life beau’s mettle. All the characters at the “Agva House” are funny in their own right (watch out for the South Indian brethren of our protagonist). But kudos to the veteran Om Puri, who gets you ROTFL with his unique style and knack for getting into the skin of the character. I would watch the movie once again JUST for him! But all said and done, don’t expect ground breaking performances, after all the movie is not really aimed at impressing the critics, is it.
The music of the phillum is also quite good, although I doubt people will recollect them a few months down the line. None the less, the songs are quite catchy and foot tapping. Although the overuse of Atif Aslam seems unnecessary. Oh and did I metion that Riteish isn’t much of a dancer 😛 Very stiff and apes Sharukh’s open arms move way too often!
Let me be honest. I was not at all inclined at catching this flick for a multitude of reasons. Firsty, it stars Deshmukh, who IMHO is not a very great actor to begin with. Sure he pulls off the chocolate boy image quite well, but doesn’t really have a style or panache that serves as a differentiator from those of other such calorific coca indulgences. Secondly, the premise of the fun-on-the-run seemed a little too old (however I was pleasantly proved wrong on this front). Having said that, the flick is not a bad investment of your time, even at the movie hall. From what I could gauge in the movie hall, the antics and one liners were a hit with most of the audience members.
So like I said, the movie overall is a decent entertainer and worth your hard earned money, but only if you are into the genre of Rom-Coms that don’t use too much of logic and are simply meant to tickle your funny bone and give you a feel-good sentiment at the end. My rating – *** stars (Btw that’s three stars out of five!)