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Movie Review: 'Chashme Baddoor'

Everyone’s hamming it in this film; even the most senior and most accomplished ones in the cast. They are all talking and emoting wildly like overwound-up toys. One youth keeps quoting SMS-forward shayari, another one takes his rape scene auditions too seriously, a grandma (even if it is a tad difficult to believe Bharti Acharekar as Anupam Kher’s mother!) who keeps slapping her son every two dialogues, a father-and-uncle twin squabbling jodi who are called Chikku and Santra, and a heroine who keeps saying, “Dum hai boss,” for very dum-less things that the hero does.

Chshme Baddoor

So here’s the plot. Seema (Taapsee Pannu) is the shorts-clad daughter of a military official. Papa wants an army-man for a son-in-law and that makes poor Seema run away from home quite frequently. But she only goes to one place: her professor uncle (Papa’s twin brother) and her violence-loving grandmother in Goa. Of course, military Papa is content to leave her there till she is ready to return and meet other army suitors.

So it turns out that the professor uncle is neighbour to this trio of loafers. It is unclear what these three spend their lives doing: it is mentioned in the passing that Sid (Ali Zafar) studies physics and Jai, we presume from his irritating Aamir-in-Andaz Apna Apna act, is interested in acting. (Although why anyone would study physics or struggle for acting jobs in Goa is a complete mystery.) Omi just quotes foolish shayari all the time. Although Seema has no visible attributes whatsoever to warrant such interest, all three of them fall for her. Jai and Omi’s efforts are thwarted while Sid’s (who, the film takes great pains to explain, is different from his kameena dosts) coincidental meeting turns into love at first sight.

Good for him. But his best friends don’t think so. And, just as the couple kisses and breaks for a jig on the beach with a song that goes Dhichkyaon Doom Doom, they soon decide to put a spoke in the wheel and derail the romance. Jai and Omi fill Sid’s ears about how ‘fast’ Seema is (woh Seema jiski koi seema hi nahi) and watch his break-up with relief. There is also a romance between single pub-owner Joseph (Rishi Kapoor totally wasted in this role), who the three owe money to, and their single bleeding heart landlady Josephine (Lilette Dubey). Jai and Omi try to bust this romance too. Why? Don’t know. As a last resort, the film turns to a mildly funny but silly climax.

The plot is, as you can read, quite lame, the dialogues are strictly banal, and the performances especially over-the-top. But most of all, this film has nothing in common with the Chashme Buddoor of 1981 fame. The original had a gentle quirky humour. David Dhawan, as we all know by now, can’t do gentle quirky. But his film doesn’t even stand up to his usual Salman-Govinda slapstick standards.

One also finds some of the ‘fast’ and ‘loose’ descriptions of the heroine’s looks and character (although she does call a complete stranger who she believes to be a dog trainer to come into her bedroom and ‘relax’) a little offensive. The protagonists of Sai Paranjpe’s classic were charming, innocent and endearingly middle class, whereas the lead actors here just come across as badly behaved selfish brats. All in all, nothing great.

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