Cast: John Abraham, Pulkit Samrat, Arshad Warsi, Kriti Kharbanda, Ileana D’Cruz, Urvashi Rautela, Anil Kapoor
Director: Anees Bazmee
Another asinine comedy that is peddled as a comic caper for the masses. I have no issues with directors opting to make a completely commercial film that has no message or even attempts to make sense. But the least expectation I have from a comedy is that it should make me laugh — if it cannot dole out laugh-out-loud moments and provide some comic relief in spurts and stops, what is the point of it all? Alas, this is too much to expect from Anees Bazmi’s ‘Pagalpanti’.
The experience of watching it is like chewing a piece of gum: bitter after a point. If you actually find yourself laughing by the end of this film, it is more like a exasperated chuckle at your decision to have wilfully subjected yourself to this torturous experience.
The premise is quite similar to the first film from the ‘Housefull’ franchise. This one has Raj Kishore (played by John Abraham) who is said to bring bad luck wherever he goes. His kundali (birth chart) shows that there are no signs of his fortunes improving anytime soon.
Raj and his two friends - Chandu (Pulkit Samrat) and Junky (Arshad Warsi) find themselves in a fix when they try to fool two gangsters played by Anil Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla.
Much like in many of Bollywood’s multi-starrer comedies, this too is supposed to play out like a comedy of errors. Wherever the trio go, a blunder ensues: they set a room on fire where the gangsters have hidden their mazumah (booty), they bet on the wrong horse at the races and end up losing all the money — you name it and that particular misfortune befalls them.
There’s obviously a parallel romantic track that has John and Ileana as a pair and Pulkit woos the gangster’s daughter played by Kriti. There isn’t any music track that’s worth a mention; two of the five songs in the film are old Bollywood remixes.
Most of the film is shot in London, so the look and feel is slick, but that can’t really detract from the deplorable flaccidity of the storyline, the inane jokes and the listless performances.
Bazmee makes it very clear that he isn’t even attempting to make any sense, so slapstick humor is the order of the day. The only issue: there isn’t much fun to be had when every member of the cast is overacting all the time.
The characters are all loud and over-the-top and at no point does the dialogue convey the witticism that the filmmakers are trying so hard to drive home.
I wouldn’t stop you from watching ‘Pagalpanti’, please go ahead and enjoy the film if this is the kind of comedy that you like. And if you are indeed going for this one, I would suggest you stay right until the end credits — believe me it’s fun watching the cast and crew enjoying themselves behind the scenes. I only wish i had one-tenth of the fun watching the film as they seem have making it.