After hits like ‘No Entry’ and ‘Singh is Kinng’, director Anees Bazmee is now offering ‘Pagalpanti’ with an ensemble cast starring Anil Kapoor and John Abraham.
Directed by- Anees Bazmee
Produced by- Bhushan Kumar, Abhishek Pathak
Written by- Anees Bazmee
Starring- Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Ileana D’Cruz, Kriti Kharbanda, Saurabh Shukla, Urvashi Rautela
Three friends Rajkishore played by John Abraham, Chandu played by Arshad Warsi and Chunky played by Pulkit Samrat ventures into various businesses, but nothing seems to work out in their favour as once a Pandit had foretold that Rajkishore is suffering from Shani Sade Sati (Period of Saturn); which makes him ill-fated. However, they refuse to be beaten by this theory and lands in the lap of two gangsters Raja Sahab played by Saurabh Shukla and Wifi played by Anil Kapoor and what happens after that is neither situational comedy nor entertainment but a sheer misuse of the resources and taking audience’s intelligence for granted.
Literary non-sense was identified as a genre in the nineteenth century (1801-1900) with a combination of folklore traditions in the forms of songs, tales, nursery rhymes and observations of absurdities by the intellectuals. One of the prominent examples of this genre is Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” (1871) which uses whimsical language to comment on good versus evil in the world.
Another such writing which made this genre a legit one to the readers (especially 1923 Bengal) is Sukumar Ray’s ‘Abol Tabol’; which with dexterity and skill, hides the satire on society and regimes of the early 20th century colonial India.
In one’s good time, the same genre has been diluted and reduced to a different genre altogether which is called now ‘mindless comedy’ in pop-culture and this unmitigated comedy cannot be even revered into any class or category. ‘Pagalpanti’ is a result of such preposterous film making.
Usually, a film has a context which helps us as an audience understand the settings and characters and its whys and wherefores. And in case of this film, the context we have is John Abraham being jinxed which can be only interpreted as sheer laziness in writing or the downright lack of demand for writing.
A film is usually made first on a good story, then a script and then manifesting it into a film with budget and other aspects. Conversely, this 3-hour long catalogue of disaster indicates the anti-making of the same.
Keeping the ‘isms’ out of Bazmee’s films, ‘No-Entry’ (2005) which was through and through problematic was still funny to a larger audience at that point of time. But with the growing awareness and demand of good comic films without being regressive, there were very fewer moments when I heard someone laugh in the different class of audience.
Again, there is space for women in Bazmee’s universe but without any significance, as they are mere sex-objects, without any context. Other important “male” characters such as the three leads have been driven more with the budget of the film and less with the scope of their acting potential.
The question is with films like ‘Queen’, ‘Bheja Fry’, ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, and ‘Patakha’ does the audience have an appetite for films like these?