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Movie review: Paying Guests

The quartet in ‘Paying Guests’—Shreyas,Jaaved,Ashish and Vatsal—don’t have matinee idol looks,nor are their digs destined to be quite so posh.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
June 19, 2009 8:23:23 pm

Cast: Shreyas Talpade,Jaaved Jafferi,Ashish Chowdhary,Vatsal Seth,Neha Dhupia,Ria Sen,Celina Jaitley,Sayali Bhagat,Jhonny Lever,Chunkey Pandey,Asrani

Director: Paritosh Painter

The last time a couple of dashing Bollywood heroes couldn’t find a house to rent,they turned into a gay couple: Abhishek and John hung out with pretty Priyanka in a fancy apartment in Miami,and their ‘dostana’ was all very cosy.

The quartet in ‘Paying Guests’—Shreyas,Jaaved,Ashish and Vatsal—don’t have matinee idol looks,nor are their digs destined to be quite so posh,so they have to make do with the humbler,cheaper Pattaya beach,and a determinedly low brow plot. Actually,it’s not really any kind of plot,just a series of scenes being played broadly,very broadly,for laughs.

Jaaved and Shreyas stuff oranges down their vests,paint their lips,and become the ‘wives’ (the other two are the ‘husbands’),because that’s the only way landlord Jhonny Lever will let out rooms. Each of the guys has a girl,naturally,and some of those girls have pesky dads,and bad attitudes.

A couple of other comics,namely Chunkey as a lisping bad guy,and Asrani,as a greedy Sindhi house-owner,join the party now and then; the girls are adequate window dressing,with Neha topping the list.

And the whole thing ends up quite funny,for the most part,as long as you don’t cringe at such outré dialogue as ‘foreplay sahi samay shuru nahin kiya toh climax mein maza nahin aata’ (the director wrote the similar-flavoured ‘Dhamaal’).

Jaaved has had long practice with leaping into drag,and he keeps the laughs coming. It’s Shreyas,who’s also done the sari and the pointy blouse and the squeaky voice bit before too,who steals the show,though: his timing is perfect.

Not for those who like their humour classy and understated.

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