Cast: Vinay Pathak, Mugdha Godse
Director: Anil Kumar Chaudhary
Rating: 1 star
The name of the film leads you to believe that Kaagaz ke Fools is a comedy, but it is at best, an attempt at it with rather painful results. KKF is the story of an aspiring writer, Purushotam (Vinay Pathak) who won’t alter his works to suit popular tastes and hence, finds it difficult to get his novel published. He is a good husband, but also an unambitious common man whose life takes a dramatic turn, thanks to one night of debauchery. His wife Nikki (Mugdha Godse) is a nagging housewife, constantly pestering her husband to be more successful like his friends or demanding a foreign holiday like the neighbour. Tired of the fights that flare up at home every night, Purushotam walks out of the house to get himself a drink, but lands himself instead, at a bar called Kukuji’s Aashram where he not only finds alcohol, but a hidden gambler’s streak and a prostitute (Raima Sen).
A loyal husband, Puru doesn’t give into advances from his new-found friend, but spends days with her trying to avoid retuning home. Chasing him around is his saala or brother-in-law (and the only notable performer in the film apart from Pathak), Saurabh Shukla. A husband constantly at loggerheads with his own wife, Shukla appears in a flash whenever he gets a distressed call from his sister. A protective Punjabi brother, he believes that he must follow society’s protocol that demands a brother to show up the minute the sister lets out a cry.
The film is overall, a superficial effort. We call it so, because neither the story, nor the characters are well sketched out. Mughdha Ghodse for all her rustic and loud self, makes constant references to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Her accent will never tell you if she’s born and bred in Punjab, Haryana or Nagpur. Raima Sen plays a nonchalant call girl who takes the liberty to make changes to Puru’s book’s final draft (overnight, mind you) before surrendering it to the publisher. What’s more, it gets published without the author even knowing about it! Every character in the film is exaggerated and overly dramatic, almost like a slapstick play of a poor theatre company.
The film also employs jokes that have been handed down from generations. Since the scenes fail to create an impact, director Anil Kumar Chaudhary takes the aid of abrupt low-key musical insertions that are expected to, at once, make the screen tragic. It does get tragic, but for the audiences, rather than the characters. Despite the poor script, poorer dialogues and co-stars, Saurabh Shukla and Vinay Pathak (Raima to a certain extent) manage to deliver an earnest performance.
After 190 minutes of excruciating film viewing, we learnt that the “fools” in the title of the film was probably suggestive of the people watching it.