Double Vision

Half an hour into the film,I was in danger of actually liking Chashme Baddoor.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published:April 6, 2013 1:38 am

Chashme Baddoor

DIRECTOR: David Dhawan

Cast: Siddharth,Ali Zafar,Divyendu Sharma,Taapsee Pannu,Anupam Kher,Rishi Kapoor, Lillete Dubey,Bharti Achrekar

Rating: **

Half an hour into the film,I was in danger of actually liking Chashme Baddoor. The three boys were strenuously playing their parts,which ran on the  expected ladki- pe- line-maarna and- juvenile-jokes- crack karna tracks. The lines were cheesy but briskly executed,and the pace just as brisk,the way David Dhawan used to manage it back when he made zippy comedies filled with laugh-out-loud gags.

Yes,this was a copy of Sai Paranjpye’s classic feel-good 1981 bromance Chashme Buddoor,even though back then it was called ‘family entertainer’. Yes,it was sacrilege,all this remake-shemake business,even if it was wrapped nobly in the guise of bringing a beloved story to an audience not born when the film first came out. But David Dhawan,in his good days,had his own way of making us laugh and who knew this could turn out to be a rib-tickler,inimitable DD style. I was quite prepared to see it as a film on its own,and when it began and picked up pace after a couple of hiccups,it seemed as if it was going to succeed. The vibe was youthful,and the trio plus the girl of their dreams were trying hard,and the laughs were flowing.

Sid,Jai and Omi (Zafar,Siddharth and Divyendu) are transplanted from the original’s early 80s Delhi to today’s Goa. Instead of a genial paanwaala,they perpetually owe money to a heavily- tattooed café owner Joseph Furtado (Kapoor) as well as to their landlady,Miss Josephine (Dubey). A romantic thread between Kapoor and Dubey is an add-on,and it starts with a smile,but these old-timers end up making you groan because they are responsible for ruining an iconic moment from the original.

And that is how the film pans out soon after the spry beginning,leaving you wincing. Because Dhawan’s film is a series of forced contrivances,not a story that grows out of a place and time. His characters don’t feel like they are good friends who live together. They feel like they have just come together for the shot. Neither do they mesh well,nor do they work individually as well as they should: Ali Zafar’s laidback tone is all too familiar,Divyendu is not half as funny as he was in his debut,Pyaar Ka Punchnama,and the very energetic Siddharth contorts himself a bit too much. Taapsee is the only one who feels real,and stays likeable despite the occasional fumble with lines.

The seasoned supporting cast is ill-used. Anupam Kher has been like this in too many movies. Bharti Achrekar can do better than go about administering slaps on assorted faces,that dreadful running thread in so many Dhawan outings. But it is Rishi Kapoor one feels  most for as a biker with a mobile waist-and-heart,he should have been one of the best things about the film. But,

except a move or two on the dance floor,Kapoor doesn’t have a true moment. And his café,called ‘Nostalgia’,becomes an ironic descriptor,making us long for the original ( Sai Paranjype’s Chashme Buddoor is also out in theatres today: do watch if you haven’t already).

Why remake a classic if you can’t improve upon it? Truly bad-door.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com

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