Saturday, October 03, 2009


Wake Up Sid

Wake Up Sid is a privileged young man’s idea of the problems of another privileged young man. Which could be nothing more serious than having your credit card cancelled and starving for one day because you can’t even cook an egg.

In spirit, it is close to Dil Chahta Hai and Bachna Aye Haseenon, where you know, nothing bad or really traumatic will happen to the leading man Sid, who can best be described as “cute” and that is a compliment. Ayan Mukerji comes from the family tree that includes dozens of film luminaries, so filmmaking was a rather obvious option... and obviously, he would make a film about a character that he would know best, which is goofy, aimless Siddharth (Ranbir Kapoor), with no goal in life except spending his father’s money.

Which is not to take away from young Mukerji’s happy, sunny, romantic comedy. It is a sweet chick flick, only made by a lad… no issues there.

Sid is appalled by the thought of working in his father’s bathroom fittings empire, but no problems flashing the credit card paid for by dad. After he fails in college, and is questioned by his parents (Anupam Kher-Supriya Pathak), he leaves home in a huff. Strangely, for a good-looking rich kid, he seems to have just two equally spaced out friends. So when evicted from dad’s bungalow, he lands up at the home of aspiring writer Aisa (Konkana SenSharma) he has recently befriended, and she takes him in without batting an eyelid. It is already established that she is older, she won’t sleep with him, and the thought hasn’t even occurred to him.

Poor little rich kid suffers no real deprivation or heartache… but he gets a glamorous job, learns to cook, clean and hand wash clothes. The film starts moving slowly towards the inevitable climax, and if you hope it will even glance at (forget an in-depth look) at urban life, aspirations of young people, independence, love, sex, friendship, loneliness, generation gap…forget it.

The film coasts along on the very endearing personality of Ranbir Kapoor, who is so nice and squeaky clean, that his selfishness and immaturity seem like harmless quirks. He invests his whole self into the film, and Konkona SenSharma brings a freshness and enthusiasm into slightly sketchy role. Their chemistry works fine, and the film is a pleasant watch. A bit like instant noodles though – looks good, tastes good… no nutrition.

Do Knot Disturb

Do Knot Disturb is what one could call a typical David Dhawan film, which means it is plagiarized (French comedy The Valet, plus Ray Cooney farce Out of Order), has a few genuine laughs interspersed between acres of nonsensical goings on… and all the actors hamming away in full volume.

It’s a pity that a director, who seems to hit more than he misses, is not getting tired of his own fading formula filmmaking. Okay, so a few single screen cinemas get the taporis chuckling at some crude gags, but is that any kind of creative high to aim for after all these years?

A totally out of shape and as badly costumed as usual Govinda, plays Raj, married to Kiran, a rich woman (Sushmita Sen—huge) who controls the finances, while frolicking with Dolly (Lara Dutta) on the side. The soundtrack screams “Inamorata” every time she walks into the frame—whatever that is supposed to signify.

The wife sees a picture of Raj and Dolly and sends a detective (Ranvir Shorey) to keep an eye on them. But a waiter Govardhan (Riteish Deshmukh) had accidentally been included in the photo, so Raj hires him to pretend to be Dolly’s lover, to throw Kiran off the scent. Dolly’s rejected suitor Diesel (Sohail Khan) and Govardhan’s loony mother (Himani Shivpuri) provide the background noise.

Scene shifts to a hotel where Raj and Dolly have a rendezvous, the snooping detective has a window falling over his head and a lot of time is expended carting the corpse around, with a curious waiter (Rajpal Yadav) jumping in and out.

Needless to say the film tends to go on forever, and seems even more painful when Govinda and Ritiesh inexplicably start yelling in falsetto for no reason at all.

Even if you walk in with zero expectations, you might be disappointed. On the other hand, it is a David Dhawan film, what were you expecting anyway?


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