THIS OVERWROUGHT COMEDYÂ opens with three bachelors â Bawesh (Shreyas Talpade), Sukhi (Javed Jaffrey) and Daljit (Aashish Choudhary) â living in Bangkok as tenants in the improbable âKiskaâ mansion, until one day they simultaneously lose their jobs and accommodation. Along with a new addition to the group, a bumbler named Karan whoâs just flown in from India, they contrive to become paying guests in the house of a Sikh restaurant owner Balluji (Johnny Lever in a performance that makes every role he has done in the past 20 years seem like an acting class in restraint) and his scatterbrained wife Sweety. Since this traditional-minded couple wonât have single boys staying in their house, Bawesh and Sukhi show up in drag as Karishma and Kareena, wives of the other two. Loud, forced, headache-inducing slapstick comedy ensues.
Itâs a pity, for there are glimpses here of a certain economy of storytelling â an unfussiness about the direction and editing which suggests that a better script (or, for that matter,Â anyÂ script) might have resulted in a solid little film. Unfortunately, the technical competence is at the service of some eye-poppingly bad attempts at humour. This is a movie that tries to milk laughs out of a scene where a deviant with a speech impediment (played by Chunky Pandey, no less) pronounces ârapeâ as âlapeâ. In another scene, a wife tells her husband that theyâve been invited out for âforeplayâ when what she means is that theyâve been invited to a stage production comprising four back-toback plays. Some of the attempts at setting up situation comedy would be embarrassing even for a school-level skit. (If someone straps you to a chair and forces you to watch this, donât miss the tedious build-up to the scene where Sweety mistakenly thinks âKarishmaâ is pregnant.)
One thing thatâs notable, given that this is screwball comedy with a line-up of pretty starlets â Celina Jaitley, Riya Sen, Neha Dhupia â is that it refrains from running its heroines through a gamut of demeaning, exploitative situations. But that doesnât quite mask the fact that there is a lot of tastelessness on view, mostly reserved for Talpade and Jaffrey, dressed as women. Here is the unfortunate sight of two talented actors (noted for their mimicking skills) hoping gamely that the rest of the film will somehow catch up with them. But this is not a script thatâs kind to performers â or to the audience.