Saturday, June 21, 2014


Thrice As Awful

The long term impact of films like Housefull becoming hits is that Sajid Khan thumbs his nose at sensible audiences and critics to make Himmatwala and now Humshakals. He proudly claims to know the pulse of the  people, which just goes to show just how contemptuous of the audience money-chasing filmmakers can be.

Khan also claims to be a Bollywood buff (his films are peppered with in-jokes), he must have seen Do Dooni Char and Angoor; didn’t he learn anything? Both films used the plot device of two sets of duplicates causing confusion, without any vulgarity.  But Khan thinks making grown men act like dogs or get into drag is funny.  (Ram Kapoor playing a virginal maiden is enough to get anyone to throw up their last meal!) 

Khan also makes fun of gays, the mentally disabled, the ill, women, dwarfs, other races, scientists, doctors and the humour borders on the sick. His level of comedy—people getting high on cocaine and vodka parathas. Then, he stages the climax at London’s House of Commons, where a private company changes hands, in the presence of a Hindi-speaking Prince Charles.  (In an earlier film, Khan has a similar climax in Buckingham Palace.)

The plot involve a villainous uncle (Kapoor) trying to usurp the property of his nephew Ashok (Saif Ali Khan), who is almost attached at the hip to buddy Kumar (Ritiesh Deshmukh).  With the help of an evil scientist, he wants to prove that Ashok is crazy. The scientist creates a chemical that makes Ashok and Kumar act like dogs.

They are locked in the Lord Cray G Mental Asylum, run by a Hitler worshipper (Satish Shah). In there are lookalikes of Ashok and Kumar with the same names, whose minds have been affected by electric shocks and they are mentally five years old, lisping, “Hum paagal nahin hain, hamara dimaag kharab hai.”

The two sets get exchanged at the asylum—because in England, discharge forms don’t note surnames, and the doctor is an idiot. The sane guys now find a lookalike of Mamaji in the asylum and plan to turn the tables. This Johnny has “third stage OCD” (seriously?), which means he attacks anyone who sneezes.

 A third set of lookalikes is produced when the bodily fluids gags run out, and the three men running about in drag begin to annoy. There are three females too, in all this mess, just meant to wear skimpy clothes and dance. This is Sajid Khan’s idea of entertainment? For a little giggle he has the neo-Nazi warden play videos of Himmatwala and Tees Maar Khan to torture the inmates, who are already mentally deficient.

Maybe there should be a law introduced now to show Humshakals to criminals to force confessions out of them. That’s all this travesty of a film is good for! Riteish Deshkmukh has done worse films but let’s hope Saif Ali Khan is ashamed of himself.


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