Pagalpanti: John & co. won’t make you LOL

Film: Pagalpanti

Cast: John Abraham, Ileana D’cruz, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela, Saurabh Shukla

Director: Anees Bazmee


Anees Bazmee’s latest, as the title suggests, is an attempted madcap entertainer that is as brainless as he makes them. There’s an invisible but clearly apparent No Entry sign for the brainy here. A multi star cast film with the well-known faces acting retarded and totally gullible is probably a given in a big-budget mainstream Bollywood enterprise of this kind.

After a series of Nationalism spouting successes and a hit actioner (Satyameva Jayate), John Abraham returns to comedy as Raj Kishore, plagued with an incessant run of bad luck. It’s the kind of contagion where everyone who comes in contact with him, including his girlfriend Sanjana (Ileana) ends up on the losing side. Raj and his friends Junky (Arshad) and Chandu (Pulkit) are hired by gangsters Raja (Saurabh Shukla) and Wifi (Anil Kapoor) to collect on damages. But of course, even such simple tasks are made doubly difficult by the trio’s bumbling around. It’s meant to be funny but neither the situations nor the timing warrant laughs.

Woeful attempts at slapstick comedy are justified by silly dialogues like “Zaroori Nahi ki har cheez ka Matlab ho.” The screenplay is a series of plot-turns that defy logic and the dialogues sound so hallucinatory that normal monosyllabic everyday conversation might seem poetic in comparison. I read somewhere that Anees Bazmee sold this idea to his stars by saying, “dimag mat lagana kyunki inmein hai nahin.” Don’t know what he was hinting at, but certainly it goes without saying that actors who make a mockery of themselves in such unyielding exercises should be prepared for fulsome


Performances are mere walk-throughs. The actors can’t be expected to stamp their mark on a rudderless narrative that springs out of thoughtlessness and idiocy. Producers might have hoped to add saleability by taking the cast to swanky locations but the backdrops could just as well have been painted landscapes – that’s as much effect they have on the tortured senses. This is a rambling, tumbling exercise in futility and all you can do is wait for it to get over...or walk out- whichever is less painful.

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