Thursday, August 09, 2007

partner: boregasmic boeotian waste of time

David Dhawan's "adaptation" of Hitch has unfortunately served only a reminder of the excruciating time I had watching the original. It even makes that piece of rejectamenta look like a masterpiece in modern romantic comedies. How hopeful I was that the manic electric hyperactive low-brow Govinda had returned to deliver the belly splits. Alas, Sanjay Chhel ain't Anees Bazmee and Salman Khan hogs most of the footage. Govinda, sadly, turns in a performance that shows with its effort and grates enough that you'd want to institute a rehabilitation programme just to remind him of how hollow a shell he has become of his former self. On the lass front, Lara Dutta turns in the most bearable performance, while the PG-rated vacuous Katrina Kaif competes with nails scratching a blackboard. Rajpal Yadav's chhoTaa Don is an unfunny appendage that competes with Uday Chopra's footage in Dhoom 2 for incongruity and induced exasperation. It would be a threat to one's blood pressure to even begin to revisit the formidable weapon of torture to the senses represented by the pipsqueak playing Lara Dutta's child. The dialogues are loaded with the kind of triple and quadruple rhymes that have inundated other successful moronic attempts at humour as Garam Masala, Kya Kool Hain Hum, Masti and No Entry.

There are precious pearls that might have worked in a film that didn't seem to want to try and be a respectable middle-brow affair instead of the basket of street-smart silliness that it should have been: jisakaa pyaar ho backbone to tuu kaun aur mai.n kaun, agar wo qaabil hai to tuu kaabulii chanaa hai, dhuup me.n isakaa chashmaa banuu.Ngaa baarish me.n isakaa chhaataa and there's only one thing i cannot stand it's a one night stand. Sajid-Wajid's peppy songs are the only things to survive this mess and the rest of the film is a bus ride in ennui in slow motion from one song-and-dance sequence to the next. One begins to long for the Govinda of Shola aur Shabnam, Aankhen, Coolie No. 1 and Raja Babu, when, as if on cue, Govinda's character in the film broke into a spectacular Taporii dance as sarakaaii lyo khaTiyaa began playing on the music system. It's a sad day when the best thing in a Govinda film is the sight of Govinda hanging it loose to a song from his better days. The other moment (when Salman Khan spoofs his ready-to-strip-waist-up image at airport security) is marred only by the fact that the film plays the joke several times before this point.

The narrative wears its incoherence on its sleeve as each plot point pops up as either a non sequitur or a reeking cliché. Even playing the products-and-names game (Bournvita, Pizza Hut, XBox 360, the Times Of India) gets unexciting pretty soon. The Scholarly Subtitle Staff continue to transcend new nadirs of grammatical correctness, homophonic consistency and translational liberty: journalist becomes generalist and names get mangled several times over. Govinda's character's name (Bhaskar) services several excursions into double entendre and even supports a reference to Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand. There's a promising dig at the special fondness for boys among priests. There's also the obligatory Sholay reference for the brains that have survived the pounding. Such sops are hardly sufficient to save this sinking ship.

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