Pagalpanti Movie Review: Anees Bazmee's Madcap Comedy Misses the Mark
Anil Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla, even though they get a lot of screen time, do not have the kind of scenes which they are known to pull off with great flair.
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Ileana D'Cruz
Anees Bazmee's Pagalpanti, a madcap caper, follows in the footsteps of illustrious crowd-pleasers that, despite predictable wafer thin plots, score with the audience.
This one, with old dependables Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi and Saurabh Shukla who can make you laugh with a mere goofy lift of their eyebrow, serve the comic cause well and there are scenes in the film when I found myself laughing despite the silliness of it all. It’s all about the hell that breaks loose when Raj Kishore (John Abraham) walks into people’s lives. The poor sod is such a panauti (unlucky) that the very day he joined a bank (PMB); it went bankrupt thanks to a certain Niraj Modi (Inaamulhaq)!
Raj Kishore then arrives in London to start a firecracker shop with friends Chandu (Arshad Warsi) and Chunky (Pulkit Samrat) and predictably enough the venture goes up in smoke! Predictably, a curious chain of circumstances including a crazy truck chase sequence results in the trio ending up as employees of dons Raja (Saurabh Shukla) and his brother-in-law Wi-Fi bhai (Anil Kapoor).
The spell of bad luck continues to get everyone in trouble till the point that we meet the biggest baddie of them all - Niraj Modi himself, the guy who hates losing money. As though the mix was not already crazy enough, Bazmee makes room for romantic tracks and a hint of patriotism too. If one was to focus on the bare bones of this comedy, there are likable bits, but unfortunately, they get drowned by the done-to-death clichés that pass off for comedy.
Besides, in wrapping up this comedy with the patriotic twist about Niraj Modi and desh ka paisa (obviously referencing the businessman Nirav Modi) Bazmee and his team of writers miss an opportunity to be clever or satirical. Stree, from last year, is a shining example of what comedy can look like when it is smartly turned out, but alas, Pagalpanti does not even attempt to go in that direction.
Among the actors, it is quite evidently Warsi who steals the show. Kapoor and Shukla, even though they get a lot of screen time, do not have the kind of scenes which they are known to pull off with great flair. Brijendra Kala, as always, is effective in getting a laugh every time he has the opportunity to do so. The women – Kriti Kharbanda, Ileana D’Cruz and Urvashi Rautela have precious little to do besides mouthing lines like "Papa kehte hain kiss karne se main pregnant ho jaungi!"
With its swanky locales, stars and a director with a yen for comedy, Pagalpanti is obviously a big-ticket production but unfortunately this once, Bazmee's madcap comedy misses the mark.
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