Film Hindi Review

Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

Madhur Bhandarkar should stick to his serious issue based films. Decent, average or bad, they’re still more watchable than this so-called comedy flick that simply fails to come to life and makes you smile less than a handful of times. All the silly but laughable jokes – if you are in that particular frame of mind – have already been shown in the promos and the film has none more to offer.

The film looks at three men – Naren Ahuja, Nikhil and Abhay Suri and their encounters with love! Naren (Ajay Devgn), who works in a multinational bank as a manager, meets an impulsive, vivacious intern called June (Shazahn Padamsee), to whom he’s attracted and changes his outlook entirely! Nikhil (Omi Vaidya) works in a matrimonial website and is searching for true love. He meets his dream girl in the form of Gungun (Shraddha Das), a radio jockey wanting to be a famous actress! Abby (Emraan Hashmi) is a Casanova whose life revolves around women! He works as a trainer in a gym to make ends meet and his ‘love story’ involves US returned turned social worker heiress Nikki Narang (Shruti Haasan) and her step mother, the former beauty queen Anushka Narang (Tisca Chopra).

The script and narrative flow is weak and superficial to say the least. None of the three stories is particularly interesting, they are extremely predictable (you know Devgn would go for a new look to look younger and Emraan would suddenly become a one woman man) and largely devoid of any memorable moments till their final ‘twists’ and even here, since the twist in each love story follows one after another after the first one, you are prepared for the other two coming as is the case with the final scenes at the airport. What’s more, few scenes stick with you, the characters are not fleshed out nicely, stereotypes and cardboard caricatures abound and the dialogue lacks the fluency, wit and bite a good adult romantic comedy thrives on.

While Ajay Devgn does pull off an inspired moment or two (see him as he cannot stop smiling after he’s been pecked on the cheek by Shazahn), the rest of his act is laboured as he makes the obvious faces to show he is doing comedy. Emraan sleepwalks through a role he has done umpteen times before and is unable to bring anything fresh to the table while Omi Vaidya plays the goofy simpleton just about adequately, more often irritating than not.

For someone who normally focusses on strong women characters, the women are given step motherly treatment in this one and what’s worse, the acting that Bhandarkar has extracted from the female leads amounts to pretty much a little more than nothing and makes them quite the bitches even if they are being ‘practical.’ Shazahn looks fresh no doubt but plays her role like an irritating, bimbette school girl rather than a smart young intern in a multinational bank and is plain embarrassing; Shruti Haasan as the NRI working for a local NGO reaffirms that the genes of both her fine actor parents are yet to kick in on the evidence of this and Luck (I haven’t seen her other release, the Telugu outing Anaganaga O Dheerudu) even if she is maybe a smidgeon better here than Luck. Her dialogue delivery here too is weak and sounds stilted to say the least; Shraddha Das is the most bearable of the lot as the wannabe film star but that’s not saying much… The older and more experienced actresses – Tisca Chopra as the lonely socialite trophy wife and Rituparna Sengupta as Devgn’s ex-wife come off comparatively best – and yes, it is nice to see Daisy Irani on screen again.

The casting of the minor roles is simply terrible especially at the end. Who were those women???

There is nothing to speak about technically – the camerawork is functional, the songs serviceable enough with Abhi Kuch Dino se coming off best, their picturisations very, very ordinary and the background score desperate as it tries to hammer in the emotions, humour or otherwise.

All in all, a misfire from Madhur Bhandarkar.

Score31%

Hindi, Comedy, Color

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