(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 8 July 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/double-dose-of-bad-puns)
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin Thottumkal, Prachi Desai
Director: Rohit Shetty
Rating: Half a star
Haye...why? My head’s in my hands as I write this. That’s how laborious the comedy in this horror of a box office hit-in-waiting is. See, I can only take the lowest of the lowest common denominator in comedy when it stars Akshay Kumar, with his particular brand of goofy idiocy and throaty one-liners.
Unfortunately, Bol Bachchan stars Ajay Devgn and the lesser Bachchan. Yep, it isn’t strictly true when we’re told Bachchan isn’t in the film, only his name is. This wannabe, diluted form of the father is almost symbolic of the movie – a wannabe, diluted remake ofGolmaal.
The film’s layered with terrible puns that would make third-graders cringe. Worse, the makers believe there’s a chance this may be too intellectual for morons, and strive to make absolutely sure none of us misses a single nuance of its overstated humour. You know those stand-up comedians who kill their jokes by giving us three applications of a maxim where one would suffice? Well, here it’s nine.
Abhishek Bachchan, in the best hands, is an average actor. Here, there’s so much hamming I’m tempted to joke about it being offensive to the character he plays – Abbas Ali.
As if it isn’t enough of a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan that his spawn stars in it, and twice over too, the dialogue is riddled with references to the Grand Old Man’s heyday. Titles of his films spill over to practically every interaction. And, of course, we can’t escape the tribute song, where Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan ape his signature move(s).
The story, you ask? So, Abbas Ali and his sister Sania (Asin Thottumkal) make history by becoming arguably the first young people to move from Delhi to a village. Here, Abbas assumes a Hindu identity after a faux pas that could start a riot. He enters the employ of village don Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn), who comes up with such insights into English as “pineapple has neither pine nor apple”. Those will tickle you only if you’ve never had the misfortune of receiving multiple email forwards in the same vein, usually from an older relative who’s fascinated enough by technology and English to feel obligated to distribute such largesse.
When each of the male leads has a sister, you kinda know the end. And if you doze off, you’ll be woken up by the drama and screeching that precedes it.
The Verdict: If you can read this, you won’t like the film.