There are new film critics in town and they mean no serious business. Two Bangalore-based stand-up comics — Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath — have taken social media by storm with their hilarious film reviews, and have gained mini celeb status for their crisp and short videos. Last month when they uploaded their views on Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor-starrer Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, it reflected the sentiments of most Bollywood buffs, who sat through the insufferable three-hour-long film. Widely shared on Facebook and Twitter, this particular video — that guffaws at the overacting by the entire cast, the ridiculous Computer-Generated Imagery parrot, the sense of fashion and the unintentionally funny dialogues — has got more than a lakh views on YouTube.
“These are movies that aren’t meant to be watched or reviewed. Biswa and I watch the movie in my house and we keep jotting down points in a notebook. Once we are done watching these masterpieces, we write a script and also improvise a great deal in front of the camera,” says Gill, 24. He has known Rath for a while and the two write jokes for their stand-up acts together.
While Rath works in an IT company, Gill quit his job in November to pursue comedy full time and has since performed in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR. The two only review dated movies and run it as “Pretentious Movie Reviews”. They started this experiment with Mithun Chakraborty’s 1998 movie Gunda, known for gory scenes and forced sexual innuendos. “We only got a few views on this one and weren’t very surprised. We followed this up with Jaani Dushman that really exploded online,” says Rath, 24. The special effects in Jaani Dushman, Sonu Nigam’s acting debut and Manisha Koirala’s dance have been the highlights of this review.
Both Rath and Gill have been bombarded with acting and writing offers lately. “Arshad Warsi tweeted about our videos; that was the most overwhelming bit about this journey,” says Gill. But with fame comes pressure. “The response has been so positive that it’s surreal. But every time I sit down to edit a video I fear that people won’t like it. After all, how far can one go?” says Gill.