‘Lendormin’, is one of the most commonly used drug for curing insomnia. Now, the makers of the drug have stiff competition. Our own Priyadarshan has come up with a movie guaranteed to put u to sleep. It’s pace is slower than a paint peeling off a dry wall. A 150 year old snail who’s suffering from Arthritis would walk much faster. It’s called ‘Mere Baap Pehle Aap‘ (the movie’s name, not the snail’s).
Priyadarshan is known for his comedy movies, and he’s equally well known for his remakes (a euphemism for the term ‘rip-off’). But this time, he has made me cry. He has not only just ripped off a malayalam movie called Ishtam directed by Sibi Malayil, he has also made a royal hash out of it. All the jokes that sounded hilarious in the original are as flat as a bottle of beer left open for a week, in the hindi version. The comical situations in the original comes across as farcical over here. Off course the slowest of the slowest pace makes it even worse.
The story is about a father-son duo (Paresh Rawal and Akshaye Khanna) who are very emotionally dependent on each other. There is also another son(Manoj Joshi), but he pops in and pops out whimsically because they couldn’t get many dates of his. Janardhan Rao’s best friend is Madhav (played by Om Puri) who’s dream of life is to get married at this age and also spout a few idiotic lines at the same time. Gaurav’s sweet-heart is Shikha (Genelia D’souza) who initially plays a lot of pranks on him and when Priyan suddenly remembers that the main story hasn’t started, she abruptly stops her pranks and becomes a ‘close’ friend of Gaurav. The story finally gets going in the second half when Janardhan finds his sweetheart in Anuradha (played by Shobhana, who must be regretting the day she signed up for this thankless role) and the son takes it in his hand to bring the happiness to the couple and thereby happiness to the audience by finally ending the movie.
The movie’s core strength would have been the emotional bonding between the father son duo and the way the reversal of roles happen in the relationship. But the bonding is missing here the and audience doesn’t connect with the protagonists at all. There’s a lot of shouting and screaming between them in the first half and some attempt at emotional scenes in the second half, but sadly it doesn’t work. Most of the bonding is explained by way of dialogues only.
Performance wise Paresh Raval does a decent job and Akshaye Khanna has nothing new to do here. His expressions and mannerisms seem to be an extension of another Priyadarshan movie called Hulchul. Om Puri is in one of his worst roles and has given one of his worst performance. But when I say that the scenes with him were still mildly entertaining, you can fathom the depth of the torture that the movie has to offer.
Genelia D’souza deserves a special mention here. Most of us are aware of the Nava Rasas. But Genelia has given some expressions/emotions that go much beyond them. To top it, her dialogue delivery makes you grimace every time and her never ending giggles make you feel like tearing your hair off . Iam now dreading watching Jaane Tu.. because of her !
It’s a very rare phenomenon, but this time there is nothing good about the movie. The horrendously picturised bad songs take the movie to a new low. Naseeruddin Shah has a cameo role as the father of Shika. Strangely he has the dialogue delivery of The Architect from Matrix Reloaded. And like the architect, he offers the Hero two choices of either getting his girl or of saving Zion (the movie). Akshaye tries his best to save it, but alas, the movie has been destroyed beyond repair by Priyadarshan.