With a stellar cast like Om Puri, Deepak Dobriyal and Shreyas Talpade, all of them with reputations that precede them, one expects Teen Thay Bhai to uphold all that makes them and more. Add to that the name of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra himself as the ‘producer’, and one actually looks forward to another fresh-faced encounter with satire, subtle comedy and smart writing, not unlike the sensations that were, to name a few, Phas Gaya Re Obama and Tere Bin Laden over the last year.
Unfortunately, the film, directed by Mrighdeep Lamba, does not live upto the expectations and the recent hope and excitement that usually tends to surround the release of another interesting low-budget film by a promising young filmmaker – an exciting trend, nonetheless. And here lies the problem – there are sparks of clear ambition from the director, and as a viewer, one develops a clear idea of how he plans to present the film – but he is let down massively by a script that suffers from an identity crisis (genre crisis, in movie terms). And when a jaded-looking Om Puri has to resort to farting to cause a few chuckles atleast from the slapstick audience, you know that screenwriting is not what it used to be, atleast not the ‘comedy’ scripts (producer lingo).
The film looks at 3 brothers (Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Deepak Dobriyal), who can’t stand each other and are summoned to meet their dying grandfather. After paying their last respects, they cannot wait to get away from each other and back to their own miserable lives. Then they find out their grandfather has left them an inheritance – 100 acres in Himachal Pradesh! But there is a clause… And so the three men find themselves in an isolated cabin amongst the hills. Here, as they are snowed out, they battle love and life to win the most important thing, each other…
A pity as the plot seemed interesting and had massive scope – considering the fact that 3 of more naturally-gifted (also called ‘underrated’) actors in the country are stuck in one cabin in beautiful snow-covered Kashmir. Unending potential for a silent comedy or asinine slapstick or even situational madness. But when the script tends to combine all three genres (and many more that may/may not exist) without prior warning, a director and his actors can only do so much to rescue whatever little that is possible. Still, the film does have its moments with the younger actors successfully showcasing little traits and eccentricities (Hollywood fixation, dentist jokes, ironing fetish) that one tends to overlook because of the overall loudness of the film.
Surprisingly, some of the decent moments include none other than Yograj Singh (especially the Ram Leela scene) – the man behind the man behind India lifting the World Cup. Yes, indeed. A well-known Punjabi actor, he looks at ease playing a short-tempered disciplinarian head of family with a booming voice. Om Puri looks a bit lost and annoyed with himself (and his character), while Deepak and Shreyas look like they’re having a good time. A word for famous tele-actress Ragini Khanna here: Given a better role blessed with more than just bindaas expressions and lesser face paint, she may surprise viewers with her bubbly energy and impressive screen-presence.
Finally, this film is a story of not what is or what should be – but what could have been but hopefully still a step in the right direction nonetheless! A direction that does not include future gems like Golmaal 6 and Welcome 4!
Hindi, Comedy, Drama, Color