Cast: John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Urvashi Rautela, Ileana D’cruz, Kriti Kharbanda, Pulkit Samrat, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla
Direction: Aneez Bazmee
Ratings: 3 stars
When it comes to the comedy genre, Aneez Bazmee literally boasts of a shedload number of hits. Be it ‘Welcome’, ‘Welcome Back’, ‘No Entry’ and many more, Aneez has already and successfully proved his mettle and has carved out a niche for himself by successfully making ‘a no-brainer entertainer’ a new genre in itself in the world of movies. Given the variety and versatility of the cast in his latest directorial Pagalpanti, a lot is expected from the man’s vision. So does it manage to keep up to the expectation of the audience or does it bomb miserably? Let’s find out.
The title of the movie is ‘Pagalpanti’ and director Aneez Bazmee seems to have taken it really seriously or rather literally. That’s when you watch it right from the very beginning, you feel like ‘ Yeh kya hua? Kaise Hua? Kab hua? Kyun hua? ‘ But then will it make you scratch your head and feel like ‘What on Earth am I doing inside the theatre watching this?’, No! Not at all. That’s where the expertise of Aneez Bazmee comes into play when making even the most stupid thing look funny on screen.
The story starts with how John Abraham (Raj Kishore) gets his two friends, Pulkit Samrat (Chandu) & Arshad Warsi (Junky) to start a firecracker business with him with finances arranged in the most ‘hilarious’ ways. But then it’s not that easy. Raj Kishore seems to have ‘Shani ka Prakat’ for the longest time in his life and hence that makes him the modern-day hot & handsome ‘panauti’ (bad luck charm) for literally everyone around him. The effect starts to show with his friends as well as their firecracker business gets destroyed in front of them in a fraction of a second, all thanks to Raj Kishrore’s ‘self-proclaimed no-smoking activism’. Having failed there, Raj Kishore dupes Sanjana (Ileana D’Cruz) in his love web and arranges finances for their next business from her ‘mama’. As expected, that fails miserably as well and this not just Chandu, Raj Kishore and Junky, even Sanjana and her ‘mama ji’ enter into the world of bankruptcy. The trio then get into the movers and packers business and are set to deliver their first delivery (a 7 crore luxurious car) to underworld don duo (Raja Sahab & wifi bhai’s house), ably played by Saurabh Shukla & Anil Kapoor respectively as a present for Raja sahab’s daughter, Jhanvi’s ( Kriti Kharbanda) birthday. As fate would have it, they mess it up as well under the most hilarious circumstances. This naturally doesn’t go well with the underworld duo and both hijack the trio as their ‘servants’ and keep them for getting their own work done. From tasting potential ‘poisonous’ food to serving as a ‘dummy’ for their master, they do it all and it’s chucklesome and side-splitting. Raja Sahab’s daughter Jhanvi falls in love with Chandu and although, initially hesitant to get into it, Chandu gives it the nod and starts his love-affair with Jhanvi.
What follows next is a truce scene that happens between Wifi bhai, Raja Sahab and their biggest enemy ‘Tulli Brothers’ so that they stop chasing each other’s life and earn money together and collectively. And guess who gives them this amazing advice? None other than the money-laundering master himself, Niraj Modi, character as we all know is a satire on Nirav Modi. What follows next is extended hours of madness and craziness with dialogues and movie references that will surely tickle your funny bones while you are seated.
The second half continues with the same narrative where the chasing game, which is as good as that of Tom-Jerry is on and Raja Sahab and Wifi Bhai who are to return Niraj Modi’s 700 crore principal amount with double the amount as interest rate but fail to do so because of course, Raj Kishore’s bad fortune has hit them all and they are all reduced to mere pennies.
The game of escape continues and Raj Kishore, Junky, Chandu along with Jhanvi, Sanjana and her mama reach a house (Niraj Modi’s money hideout place in reality) where he had hired Urvashi Rautela (Kavya) to work as a ‘ghost’ so that people stay away from the apparently haunted house of fear and his laundered money is safe over there. The gang eventually finds out that all is a big fib and they together make a plan to expose Niraj Modi. The climax unfolds into how Raj Kishore who was thrown out of his bank and went jobless because of Niraj Modi’s money laundering act from his bank finally manages to seek a bit of revenge by not only getting Niraj Modi behind the bars but also helping lakhs of Indians recover their money back thereby trying to evoke the sense of ‘Vande Mataram’ out of your hearts and mind. No matter how serious a narrative it sounds from the outset, the sequential breakup will throughout ensure that you have a laughter marathon. Not giving any more spoilers.
IWMBuzz Verdict: Pagalpanti is exactly bang on as the title of the movie as the movie is nothing but a compiled tale of love, humour and patriotism all blended together to get the Bollywood entertainment masala going. If you go by the look of it and come out of your theatre in order to try to ‘analyze’ and ‘brainstorm’ as to what you watched, you will fail miserably as there’s simply no real story in it at all. That’s why I call it a ‘no brainer’. Having said that, the rib-tickling dialogues, and scenes surely take care of the entertainment quotient and you will also not be bored. The entire cast does their best in order to make you laugh like a drain and crack you up but according to me, the top three performances which looked absolutely ‘effortless’ and natural, inbred and intrinsic came from Arshad Warsi, Saurabh Shukla & Anil Kapoor. You simply won’t stop laughing every time these 3 enact a scene even with just expressions. Arshad Warsi successfully shows why he is still the best bet around when it comes to an ensemble comedy. Anil Kapoor as wifi bhai continues from where he left last as ‘Majnu Bhai’ and the man’s simply phenomenal. And what do you say about Saurabh Shukla? The man is just something else when it comes to comedy. There’s a bit too much of everything in certain places and Aneez Bazmee might have tried to do a Rohit Shetty with all those flying cars and vehicles around but overall, everything fell into place. There’s nothing much to tell about the script and the story as to be honest, there’s NO STORY at all. But full marks to the screenplay and dialogue team for getting the best out and making a no brainer look entertaining and cool this way. Overall, a must-watch if you are up for just 2.5 hours of sheer entertainment, refreshment and a bit of beer and skittles. A piece of advice, don’t get into analysis mode as it might just leave you bonkers and mad as a hatter. Just go out there to laugh, giggle and titter like there’s no tomorrow. You will not be miffed or crestfallen.