Instead keeping Rohit Shetty’s earlier comic works as a yardstick may help in understanding what to expect in this film. Rohit Shetty’s penchant for absurd humour and love for the outrageous happily subverts the entire premise of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s masterpiece. So, Utpal Dutt’s love for the purity of Hindi language has been twisted to show Ajay Devgn’s (as Prithviraj) usage of English phrases like, umm, “Please bring some fresh fuls and fruitables.”
Or “I’ll put the last nailpolish in your coffin” or “When elders get cosy, children don’t get nosy” or kind of utter nonsense lines. When he is not delivering these language gems, he is busy protecting his sister from a random distant cousin, who keeps accosting her to settle family grouses.
Like Utpal Dutt in the old Golmaal, Prithvi respects only strict honesty and punishes lying. Abbas (Abhishek Bachchan) comes to Prithvi’s village and lies to him about his religion, name, parentage and almost everything to get a job. The lies then keep getting more and more complex and ridiculous to then include a fake mother and her fake identical sister, a fake identical brother and so on.
You know the plot, you have seen it before. What you have not seen before is the utter irreverence with which Rohit treats the original, paying it a tribute and insult with equal delight. But to cast the boisterous mujrewali Zohra (Archana Puran Singh) to reprise Dina Pathak’s role as the mother in disguise and then get the other Abhishek to pose as the homosexual dancer Abbas, or even conceptualising certain scenes like Abhishek’s entry as the dancer, or the Archana’s entry as the mother or the Ek Hasina thi type of climax, is as brilliant as it is banal.
Asin looks strange with her half-permed hair and Prachi Desai just drifts in and out. Actually the girls have nothing to do here. Ajay Devgn preens as the macho male, spouting Angrezi nonsense and flinging people left, right and centre. But the surprise package is Abhishek: he is the perfect foil for Devgn’s Prithvi; his Abhishek is restrained while his gay Abbas is outrageous.
Bol Bachchan is a robust, unapologetic farce. It is full of one-liner Prithvisms, and the usual far-fetched gags. And like most Rohit Shetty films, it will probably make you wonder at the utter cheek of the filmmaker, even as it makes you laugh. And that’s what matters: Bol Bachchan makes you laugh out loud, quite hard at times, at the inanity and the innovation, the absurdity and the audacity. Go watch it. You’ll probably curse this critic but not before having a good laugh.