Bollywood film review: David Dhawan does unexpected with ‘Chashme Baddoor’

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916921441Despite no real connection with the original, this new-age twisted remake is a laugh riot

You’d think it’s almost suicidal for any director to attempt to remake a classic as imposing as 1980s’ ‘Chashme Buddoor’. But, the flamboyant David Dhawan does the unexpected. He gives the original a menacingly, fun twist, something many, including me, wouldn’t have thought him capable of.

While, it’s incomparable to the original, it still manages to hold its own, and packs in sufficient amount of quirkiness, madness and poetry to leave us sufficiently tickled.

It also emerges as one of Dhawan’s more tolerable movies, with the director refusing to indulge in his staple, slapstick comedy drill and over-the-top drama.

If anything, it’s the tediously, dull dances that Dhawan is unable to shake-off from his narrative. He even borrows tunes from Bollywood’s old-time hits to spike up the routine. It works in a few flashbacks, but overtime it gets tiresome.

With ‘Chashme Baddoor’ director Sai Paranjpye stepping in as story-writer, alongside Renuka, Dhawan is amply equipped to give the original a refreshing transformation.

Although Dhawan refrains from a scene-to-scene adaptation, probably because he’s aware of his own limitations, he creates his ‘Chashme Baddoor’ with an unusually engaging thread.

While writer-duo Sajid-Farhad’s lines do flip towards absurdity on more occasion than one, it surprisingly manages to amuse us.

They load it with numerous PJs, puns and ridiculous rhymes that often poke fun at Bollywood and some of its many artists and famous dialogues.

A scene where one of the two stooges breaks into music director Anu Malik’s infamous nasal rain song is one of the many gems in the movie.

There’s even a rehash of the legendary ‘Miss Chamko’ scene, but Dhawan leaves it to the veterans to spoof it. Doing it any other way, would’ve just ruined it.

‘Chashme Baddoor’ unveils in sandy Goa, where three cheery buddies – Sid, Jai and Omi – watch each other’s backs as they dodge rent and food bills, and chase women, without a shame.

Of the three, two are fairly audacious in their love escapades and are unsurprisingly left without a woman by their side. The lone simpleton cheers them on, and watches the fun, until they all end up wooing for the same girl.

She’s perky, cheery and literally runs away from any wedding alliance her military dad brings home.

Backed by her dad’s ‘civilian’ twin, she eliminates the lecherous duo and eventually skips a heartbeat for the one “who speaks through his heart”.

Although Ali Zafar and newbie Taapsee Pannu can’t fit into the shoes of the celebrated Farooq Shaikh and Deepti Naval, they do perform adequately well within the framework they are provided with.

In fact, Ali Zafar refrains from being wooden in every frame, and that’s an improvement from his earlier debacles. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about his petite co-star. She’s fairly pleasing alright, but lacks Deepti’s charm or worthiness of being pursued by three men.

It’s Divyendu Sharma and Siddarth who merit the applause and the laughs. Armed with amusing poetry, hilarious movie lines and impeccable comic timing, the two are uninhibitedly impressive.

They talk in rhymes, and prance around for no real reason, often adulterating Hindi language and our sensibilities. Yet, we forgive them for being unapologetically insane.

Despite the fact that Dhawan frontlines his tale with a young cast, he outlines a commanding supporting cast with experienced performers.

The versatile Rishi Kapoor plays the heavily-tattooed Goan hotelier Joesph Furtado, who tweaks age-old proverbs to his convenience and flips for the trio’s gorgeous landlady Josephine, with aplomb, while the talented Lilette Dubey matches him in every frame.

Their romance is portrayed with far more depth and subtlety that’s evidently reminiscent of the 1981-original. However, those memories are shortlived.

Anupam Kher takes on, not one, but two warring brothers, giving each an exaggerated sketch, while Bharti Achrekar plays their boisterous mother. Actually, they are probably the only actors who play out the old-school Dhawan-styled buffoonery that Govinda had perfected over the years.

Barring this little resemblance, Dhawan has upped his standard, just enough to warrant a trip to the cinemas. It’s definitely worth the extra helping of popcorn and coke.

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