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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

A seriously hungover Rahul (Rajat Kapoor) wakes up the next morning in his own house,with wife Mitali (Iravati Harshe) looking like black thunder.

Written by Shubhra Gupta
New Delhi | January 2, 2010 10:31:56 am

Cast: Rajat Kapoor,Vinay Pathak,Neha Dhupia,Iravati Harshe,Anu Menon,Dalip Tahil,Navneet Nishan,Aamir Bashir,Ranvir Shorey,Sudhir Mishra

Director: Saurabh Shukla

Rating: ***

Much-married man encounters sexy female at a party. The time and place are perfect for a stolen quickie: large house,loads of guests,flowing booze,everyone pleasantly smashed,dangerously lowered inhibitions. The mild dalliance quickly builds up to boiling point as man and woman end up breath-close in a hidden room,and then,just like that,there is a black-out.

A seriously hungover Rahul (Rajat Kapoor) wakes up the next morning in his own house,with wife Mitali (Iravati Harshe) looking like black thunder. She flounces out wordlessly,dragging daughter by the hand. He holds his aching head,and tries remembering what happened last night. Nothing,nada,zip. It’s all a complete zero.

No,it’s not a desi ‘Hangover’,in which the all-male Hollywood foursome were hell-bent on letting it all hang out with naked chorus girls. ‘Raat Gayi Baat Gayi’ is a sex com of the kind Rajat Kapoor and his gang of familiars have done before (‘Mixed Doubles’),more relationship than romp. Part of the fun of watching a film like this is the mix: men and women circling each other,bringing the mating game out of the marital closet,seeing if there’s a better fit with another—will that one be worth a nibble?

Shukla’s bunch is well etched,and you can see that they are having a good time while they are at it. Kapoor,the man who’s kept the faith for fourteen years,about to dip his foot in adulterous sludge (can we do it in a room full of red lights,honey,but please don’t tell my wife). The porn-watching Pathak,and his pissed-off wife (Anu Menon ). The poetry-spouting Tahil and his unclassy,loud wife Nishan,the hosts of the party who have secrets of their own. And of course,the Girl in the Little Black Dress (Neha Dhupia),with acres of bare back and endless legs.

All of it is pleasant enough,picking up pace and interest in the second half,with a smooth end that leaves you smiling. See ‘RGBG’ for actors comfortable in their borrowed skins,some well-written and well-executed laughs,and a couple of lovely throwaway moments (Navneet Nishan is given one,a tiny glimpse in which she is shown being aware of her husband’s philandering,and ignoring it,as always). Also look out for nice cameos from Shorey (Indian from Australia,all hey mate and loud bonhomie),Aamir Bashir (ambitious artist and potential lover) and Sudhir Mishra (estranged father).

But it doesn’t become a stand-out film because it refuses to take risks. Dhupia’s in-your-face sexiness is not heart-stoppingly,threateningly sensual,so the film plays footsie,without really going all the way. How about something braver and quirkier the next time around? This merry band filmmakers can do it.

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