There are several Bollywood parivaars that have had their members perform together in films. The Ganguli Brothers did it. Then there were the Kapoors, a few Kumar families, the Anands and the Deols. In modern times, a Bollywood package deal has meant Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan together in a film. With the Sarkar series and Bunty Aur Babli, Aishwarya has been usurped as well. Interestingly, Jaya Bachchan has not been folded in to make this a full-blown concoction yet, so the eternal Bachchan fan is still living on hope. A film titled Bol Bachchan sounded like it could have been that all-in-one familial brew that we were all waiting for (with even Beti B thrown in for good measure). Alas, our wait will have to continue. This one has only one – Abhishek – though there is a reassuring hint of him playing several avatars in it.
The heritage of Bol Bachchan is legendary. Its antecedents include Golmaal (not the old original, but the new original), Golmaal : Fun Unlimited, Golmaal Returns, All The Best and Singham. All of these may have missed the Oscars by a mile but did set the box office on fire. Clearly, Over-The-Top is a genre that has long legs in Bollywood, and from the looks of it, Bol Bachchan promises to be a certain Hall of Famer!
If mega star and box office gold Abhishek Bachchan is not enough to make you run to the theatre to catch the first show, the film’s other star, Ajay Devgn must surely do it. This lethal combination of matinee idol looks and a frightening supply of talent must make everyone’s heart tingle with envy or lust (or both). And if there are two heroes, it is imperative that the film have two heroines. Asin and Prachi Desai promise to keep up the glorious tradition of blink-and-you-miss female leads in this all-male dominating script. Of the film’s four songs, they likely have two each.
Director Rohit Shetty has some kind of a wanton connection with ‘Golmaal’, what with most of his previous work carrying that title. This time, his film has a passing resemblance to the (old) original Golmaal, that delightful Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt starrer from the late-70s. In the trailers, one could spot mentions of the presence and absence of a mooch, dialogues like “that wasn’t me, that was my judwa brother”, a sidekick with all the bad ideas, and a fake mother. Archana Puran Singh plays the fake mother, resting all doubts on the future of face-making and loud laughter as key (and the only) comedy ingredients in our cinema – they are thriving. The subtle comedy of the old original has thus been sufficiently updated to our 2012 sensibilities.
Obviously, the highly evolved audience could have laughed endlessly at the director’s very mature slipping-on-a-banana-peel genre of humour, but why must one stop there? At some point in the second half, comedy gives way to full blown action. If you have already been subjected to Ajay Devgn in Singham flinging multiple people in the air with a single dishoom, wait until you watch him do this in tandem with Abhishek. After all, AB Jr has already played a superhero in the past, in the delightfully surrealistic Drona (box office gold, remember?). In Bol Bachchan, we get the opportunity to marvel at both our leading men collectively pooh-pooh all of Newton’s laws of physics. Gravity seldom finds a place in this film’s action script – what with people leaping into the air, jeeps leaping into buses, buses leaping in to each other, cars leaping in to mountain tops and so on.
Himesh Reshammiya’s music fits with the scenery and drives an appropriate amount of wiggles and pelvic thrusts by all and sundry. He has done better, but hey, even A R Rehman has had bad days.
While it can’t be said for certain after watching the film trailer, it will be prudent to bet your money on the film having a happy ending. All in all, Bol Bachchan promises to be a fine film to carry on from where the classics Rowdy Rathore and Housefull 2 left off. “Real” Bollywood enthusiasts can rejoice. And the wimpy ones can go home and wait for Aamir’s next.
Click HERE for our review of the movie.