Saturday, April 6, 2013

What are you laughing at?

After the mind-numbing re-make that Himmatwala was, one had to enter the cinema hall cautiously, not knowing what evil is going to unfold before one's eyes. But fortunately, there is nothing to be afraid of. Chashme Baddoor is not even slightly a remake of the 1981 Sai Paranjpye classic. And if the maker claims that it is one; it is only as good a remake as Hero No.1 was of Bawarchi.

The film is definitely inspired by the plot structure of Chashme Buddoor (1981); where three friends -- Sid, Omi and Jai are just out of college and while Jai and Omi are chasing girls with their cheesy pick up lines, Sid is the sincere, studious and honest one. Then comes the girl, Seema, who ridicules Omi and Sid's desperate attempts to woo her. Later, Sid and Seema fall in love; and Omi and Jai try to break the relationship out of envy. The only other common thread between the two films is the vague reference made to Chamko detergent powder. The film takes place in Goa and occasionally passes off a couple of exotic foreign locations as Goa, and unravels this comical tale of friendship rather half acceptably.

As far as David Dhawan is concerned, Chashme Baddoor is a great improvement on his style of filmmaking where the focus is laid on fairly humorous dialogues rather than mindless physical comedy. Jai, played by Siddharth, often reminds you of Ravi Baswani and also makes you realise what today's comedy is missing. From Omi's shayari to some appreciable puns, the overall bar for the sense of humour is not set too high. However, no matter how uptight you are about the standard of jokes, some of the situations in the film do tend to tickle your funny bone.

Ali Zafar, who plays Sid, as we know, is capable of comedy (case in point Tere Bin Laden) but doesn't fulfill his potential. The glamour doll Taapsee Pannu is extremely ordinary and puts you off with some weird facial expressions that she wears during the song sequences. Rishi Kapoor, as Joseph Furtado, who replaces Saeed Jaffery's character of Lallan Miyan, does a good job. But his character's involvement as a crucial sub-plot isn't as gripping as Lallan's.

By itself, Chashme Baddoor is a half-decent comedy which will come as a much needed relief after a long week at work; but unlike the classic, no one will be citing instances from this film 30 years from now. For those who have already experienced the wonderful film, don't expect this one to live up to your expectations. For the young audience, remember, you are only as good as the jokes you laugh at.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Published in DNA (Pune) on April 6, 2013 

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