If you thought this supposed crime comedy thriller would keep you on the edge of your seat, you are mistaken
A still from the film
Film: Govinda Naam Mera
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Kiara Advani
Director: Shashank Khaitan
Rating: 2/ 5
If you thought this supposed crime comedy thriller would keep you on the edge of your seat, you are mistaken. The narrative begins with Govinda Waghmare (Vicky Kaushal) pleading his girlfriend Suku (Kiara Advani) to rush to the railway station and stop him before he attempts suicide. We are then introduced to the protagonist’s struggles — a domineering wife Gauri (Bhumi Pednekar), who demands Rs. 2 crore in exchange for divorce, a paralysed mother Asha (Renuka Shanane), confined to a wheelchair for years, and a legal wrangle with his deceased father’s first wife Charulata and son Vishnu for the ownership of a bungalow in Mumbai that is worth Rs. 150 crore in today’s real estate market. Add a dash of crime — drugs, murder, corruption — a peppy soundtrack, some shocks and surprises, and voila! You could have an engaging masala fare.
Alas, that is where this cookie crumbles. Just like a mix of characters the brilliant Govinda essayed in his career — from his debut in the mid-80s to the ’90s when he ruled the roost with massy entertainers — the protagonist Govinda too finds himself cornered in tight situations. From being chased for money, to being suspected and accused of murder, dealings in drugs, all the while juggling his wife and girlfriend. However, not only does the similarity end there, the film also fails to replicate the dancing sensation’s vibe and enthusiasm. Director Shashank Khaitan, who also plays a cameo in this one, and has been responsible for projects, including Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017), and Dhadak (2018), is trying to pack in too many elements that don’t exactly hold the viewers’ attention.
For someone who has movies like Raazi (2018), Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) and Sardar Udham (2021) to his credit, Kaushal gives his background dancer-aspiring-to-be-choreographer character Govinda his best shot. But he is badly let down by a predictable screenplay and average dialogues. In fact, he was funnier as Kamlesh Kapasi aka Kamli in Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju (2018) without trying half as hard. Advani looks gorgeous in every frame and puts in a convincing performance as Govinda’s partner-in-crime, but it is Pednekar who scores with her portrayal of an over-the-top Gauri taking sadistic pleasure in tormenting her husband. Amey Wagh delivers as lawyer Kaustub Godbole, while Viraj Ghelani is strictly okay as Baldev Chaddha — Gauri’s boyfriend and insurance agent. Shahane is wasted, and yesteryear villain Ranjeet’s son Jeeva seems to have received a raw deal as Six-Pack Sandy — a wannabe influencer trying to make music videos when he is not high on drugs. Dayanand Shetty convincingly plays the aggressive and corrupt cop, a persona that should be credited to his years of experience essaying the character of Daya (CID).
Songs like Bijli and Pappi jhappi are good fun to watch, but don’t elevate the narrative. Ranbir Kapoor’s cameo in Bijli comes as a surprise, but that’s about it. The last 20-odd minutes are the best part of the movie, but that is too little and much too late to salvage the damage of over an-hour-and-half of a flat storyline and predictable fare.