Friday, October 07, 2011


As Crass As Can Be

David Dhawan has made some comedy hits in the past, and not many of them have been original or tasteful, but his latest Rascals would easily count among his worst.

So you grimace through lewdness unlimited, as the overage ‘rascals’ of the title, try to con people, but mostly just paw women—in particular one bimbo called Khushi (Kangana Ranaut), who is only to happy to get her clothes off. The other bimbo Dolly (Lisa Haydon) is a hooker, so she hardly every wears any.  The dancers in the background are, as can be expected, semi-nude white girls.
Chetan (Sanjay Dutt, who produced this piece of trash) and Bhagat (Ajay Devgan, who ought to have had more sense) are rival conmen, who rob from a gangster Anthony (Arjun Rampal, et tu dude?) and escape to Bangkok.  Chetan steals from Bhagat and then the two then vie for the favours of  shrieky, underdressed Khushi. The plot, of course, owes its origins to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) which has already been cannibalised (Deewana Mastana, Jodi No 1, etc) so the smart crooks believe she is an heiress; an up-to-date conman would have at least done a Google check.
Chetan pretends to be an Art of Giving social worker, and Bhagat a blind navy man.  Each tries to outdo the other in trying to impress Khushi, but all they do is ogle and manhandle. After some time it is discomfiting to watch this, more so, since the film is just so unfunny.  Even the working class or single screen frequenting  men these films are obviously aimed at, would have to be particularly misogynistic (or repressed, or both) to enjoy this sort of thing.
Maybe it will do well, who can tell—worse films have—but as far as Dhawan’s work goes, this is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Is this recycling of old stuff necessitated by the fact that it is getting increasingly difficult to plagiarise from Hollywood?  And that generation of Bollywood writers and filmmakers were so used to stealing that they probably forgot how to use their own brains… Our brains they tell us to leave at home. Even if we did, we’d still expect better films than Rascals.


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