Friday, May 12, 2006

T & T 

Tom, Dick and Harry

Since Deepak Tijori honestly calls his own film Tom, Dick and Harry “mindless”, why argue with him?

Mindless comedies sometimes do work, but this one’s juvenile, vulgar and most unfunny. One of the easiest ways to ruin a comedy is to beg for laughs, like this film does—look at the caricature villain (Gulshan Grover looking uncannily like a local Page 3 denizen), and the three handicapped heroes, who are referred to as “defective pieces”, the condom and gay gags. What kind of film—whether it has a mind or not—looks at trafficking of women as a joke!

Tom (Dino Morea) is deaf, Dick (Anuuj Sawhney—best of the lot) is blind and Harry (Jimmy Shergill) is mute. They live in a sex-starved Sardar’s (Rakesh Bedi) home as paying guests and drool over their neighbour Celina (Jaitley) as if they have never seen a female in their lives. The half-dressed fisherwoman (Kim Sharma) completes the menagerie.

The villain Soprano (Grover), runs a female smuggling racket, and aspires to be the worst ‘bad man’ ever— for comparison he has Mogambo, Shakal and Gabbar Singh! The cops (mainly Shakti Kapoor) can’t trace the people who kidnap girls in large numbers, though they drive around in a conspicuous car.

The three heroes rescue Celina from the kidnappers and for some reason are asked to describe the criminals, and for the three of them communication means a complicated dance of signs and lip-reading, when it would be easier to write things down. Also, Celina has seen the kidnappers too, why can’t she describe them to the cops? At one point, the three mistakenly deliver Celina to the villain’s den and then rush to rescue her.

Logic is obviously not this film’s strong point, but then neither is anything else—except two very good Himesh Reshammiya songs (Tanha jiya and Jhoom) forced into the narrative. Quite a few gags are lifted from a recent play, Teen Bandar Resort Ke Andar, which also had disabled protagonists.


After the fairly polished Dus, you didn’t expect Anubhav Sinha to regress so much. His Tathastu looks like one of those films that are made in a hurry when a star is available. A Hollywood film is picked (John Q in this case), an Indian version hastily cobbled together, and a film made—which is bound to go wrong.

If at all this story about a poor man’s rebellion had to made, it did not need a muscular star. If the argument is that without a star a film hasn’t a chance in hell, then a film with the wrong cast hasn’t much of a chance either.

Imagine Sanjay Dutt (sincere) as a poor factory worker Ravi Rajput, but living in a one-story house that millionaires could not afford in Mumbai. His wife (Ameesha Patel) with blonde-highlighted hair and perfect make-up does not look like a lower class housewife, who manages the house on her husband’s meagre salary.

One day, their son (Yash Pathak) collapses, and is taken to a fancy hospital, where a Rs 15 lakh heart transplant is recommended to save his life. Ravi cannot raise the money, so he buys a gun and holds up the hospital’s waiting room.

At no point does it look like Ravi and his son were deliberately being discriminated against, so the father’s crime has very little justification. The subplot about a politician waiting for a transplant too, is ridiculous.

In the waiting room, Ravi, who has enough problems of his own, turns into everyone else’s problem solver, while outside the cops have orders to shoot him and the media are making him out to be a hero.

The film does not engage either at an emotional (a father’s anguish) or issue (debate on lack of affordable health care) level; in fact it is unintentionally funny in places – a doctor (Jaya Prada) looking helplessly at a woman in labour and saying, “I am a heart surgeon, not a gynac!”


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