Pagalpanti Movie Review: There are precisely three laughs in this comedy, and two of them are unintentional

Updated: Nov 22, 2019, 14:04 IST | Vinamra Mathur | Mumbai

Pagalpanti continues the disappointment that the genre of comedy has been this year, joining the coveted list of Total Dhamaal and Housefull 4.

Pagalpanti poster
Pagalpanti poster

U/A; Action, Comedy
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Ileana D'Cruz, Anil Kapoor, Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela, Saurabh Shukla
Rating: Rating

Anees Bazmee has written a lot of memorable films in the '90s, mostly featuring Govinda and Anil Kapoor, and they were genuinely funny and entertaining, and even if the plot was implausible or even impossible to exist in real, the narrative was elevated by their infallible leading men. Even as a director, his films were mindless fun; titles like No Entry, Welcome and Singh Is Kinng are far from great, but you cannot deny you chuckled at the buffoonery that unfolded on the screen.

His new film, Pagalpanti, isn't fun -- it even denies us the guilty pleasure that we revel in. Bazmee casts an ensemble of both dependable and dour actors. So while you can rely on Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla and Arshad Warsi to breathe some madness into this lifeless material, John Abraham, Pulkit Samrat and Urvashi Rautela also fill the frame to remind how a case of wrong casting can dampen the prospects of an already unfunny narrative.

Abraham has been saying in his interviews he wanted to take a break from his patriotic outings and there couldn't have been a better vacation than Pagalpanti, but given how nationalism has been guaranteeing big bucks to the producers at the box office, Bazmee narrates the story of a fraud called Neeraj Modi, and we don't have to tell you where the joke is going. There are precisely three laughs in this so called and promoted laugh riot, and two of them are unintentional.

Watch the trailer of Pagalpanti below:

We get dialogues like, "You can leave your country, but the country will never leave you. It's okay if we lose our lives for the nation." This ode to India certainly doesn't belong here; we came to see mayhem and mirth. And the filmmaker's fascination for animals continues -- if No Problem had a gorilla, Pagalpanti has two roaring lions, who Warsi calls as Simmba and Singham. The scene does raise laughs, but as stated above, for all the wrong reasons. I never expected I would be laughing in a comedy film during scenes that are supposed to be serious.

The problem with today's comedies is that they think they can get away with cast and canvas, and making poker faces on posters would led to the belief that they have made an entertaining film for families. Actors participating in such comedies usually say in interviews and write on social media how their films are not for critics and request the audiences to leave their brains at home. I did exactly that, didn't apply any logic or brain, all I desired was laughter... where's that? Whom should I talk to now?

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