Cast: Sunny Deol, Arshad Warsi, Preity Zinta, Pankaj Tripathy
Director: Neeraj Pathak
There was a time when it was the actresses who would keep making “comebacks” every three years or so, without much success, of course. It wasn’t something the male actors ever bothered about; their careers were safe, as long as they had plum offers to play the lead in films where they would run around trees, sing songs and do some action. Many years later, some mainstream actors seem to be facing the same fate as their female counterparts did some two to three decades back.
Sunny Deol, just a week after he resurfaced in Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Mohalla Assi is back again — this time playing a Banaras-based gangster who aspires to be a Bollywood hero.
He seems to be in a hurry to prove that what he could do in his earlier films, he can continue to garner fans and taalis from an audience which has obviously graduated to better stuff, and even Web series some-good-bad-but-superior-quality shows.
To start with, Bhaiaji Superhit, a Neeraj Pathak directed film, is not even a film. It seems to have some great actors (Arshad Warsi, Pankaj Tripathy, Sanjay Mishra and Shreyas Talpade) trying hard to infuse some life into scenes that emerge out of nowhere.
Bhaiaji (Deol) is a gangster whose wife (Preity Zinta) is katti with him because she had seen him embracing his friend’s widow one day. Bhaiaji loves her and obeys her orders too, but one doesn’t know why he is forever trying to please her. His long line-up of goonda followers swear by him, and hover around him for orders that they could instantly carry out. When nothing moves in the first half hour of the film, and you are almost wondering whether to stay put, or walk out, a filmmaker (Warsi), who has three hugely successful films that earned him one thousand crore to his credit, shows up. Needless to add, Bhaiaji then, decides to make his screen debut in a Bollywood flick. A sexy actress Mallika (Amisha Patel) is signed to play the heroine.
Everything seems to be going fine until you realise that Bhaiaji’s wife is not happy about the choice of the heroine. What follows thereafter remains a mystery; neither director Pathak nor any of the cast members have any clue about what to expect next.
The trouble with this film is not having a believable storyline. A mainstream comedy hoping to make a big splash in today’s movie marketplace needs three initial assets — a grabber of a premise, a cast that sets up enticing expectations and some wacky lines that leave people grinning all the way to the box office.
The basic joke could have been the movie’s goal to make some cash and entertain people. Here, nothing works, not even recycled goonda gag and cliche that the writers could think of. The result is, that apart from some lazy, deft strokes every now and then, the director’s comic style is as broad as the movie is shallow.
For all its gags and antic situations, this neither comic nor gangster rivalry film, turns into a case of cinema stretchery; the premise can’t fill the requisite time without serious strain.
No one is aware of the course of action. The only actor who is having a good time is Deol, who starts off in a fake Banarasi accent, gives way to his machismo, and lets his lingo slip several times. His puffed-up wounded masculinity abounds in the formulaic reactions which may be the only saving grace in the film.
With so much buffoonery, would audiences care? Not likely. Bhaiaji Superhit is so superficial it practically evaporates before your eyes.
The writer is a film critic and has been reviewing films for over 15 years. He also writes on music, art and culture, and other human interest stories....