Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Is Well 

Waste of Talent

Rishi Kapoor’s selection of films in the second phase of his career has been mostly good, so it’s puzzling why he chose to do All Is Well. Maybe the director Umesh Shukla’s Oh My God reputation stood him in good stead, which is why he also managed to cast Abhishek Bachchan and Supriya Pathak.

Kapoor plays Bhajanlal Bhalla, a baker in a small Himachal town, an obnoxious man who is constantly verbally abusing and harassing his wife Pammi (Pathak) and son Inder (Bachchan).  Bhalla wants his son to take over his business (though it is not exactly thriving), but as soon as he gets a chance, Inder leaves for Bangkok to become a singer. His romance with Nimmi (Asin) also fails because of his commitment phobia, but she hopes to change his mind through the positive-thinking guide, Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, even after she is about to be married to another man.
Inder returns a decade later to get the money due to him after selling his father’s bakery and walks into the trap set by some bumbling goons led by the long-haired Cheema (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub), who are after Bhalla for repayment of loans. The film and its characters get into road movie mode and go round in circles. It is all quite bizarre and random, with humour mined out of Bhalla’s weak bladder and Pammi’s strange dementia. Jumping into the fray are cops, various family members and Sonakhi Sinha as the ‘item girl.’

Perhaps because of the problems while making the film—Smriti Irani dropped out, and many scenes had to be reshot—there are gaps and continuity glitches in the film.  Moreover, director Shukla is not sure if he wants to make comedy or a moral fable about family values.  There may have been a good idea about dysfunctional families (a Hollywood staple) in there, but the way the film turns out, the viewer can only feel sorry for the actors—particularly Rishi Kapoor—who did not deserve to be in this mess.


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