HYDERABAD: Actor Govinda frequently teamed up with Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor in the 90s and early 2000s to dish out a plethora of comedy movies mostly helmed by David Dhawan. The number of such movies was enough for the audience to club them as David Dhawan-kind of cinema or Govinda-kind of movies wherein you left your brain behind and embarked upon a roller coaster ride of laughs.
Director Shashank Khaitan most probably had the same kind of fun in his mind when he decided to write and direct ‘Govinda Naam Mera’. The only problem is he has failed spectacularly in his attempt to imitate.
Expectations are always high from an actor whose last outing was something like ‘Sardar Udham’. Vicky Kaushal for sure has emerged as one of the better performers among his contemporaries. Right from ‘Masan’, he has always played slightly serious roles. ‘Govinda…’ is his first attempt at comedy and it’s not funny at all.
Govinda Waghmare played by Vicky is a hen-pecked husband. He is a ‘loser’ who is pushed around even by his domestic help. Even though he is married he has a girlfriend Suku (Kiara Advani). His wife is Gauri played by Bhumi Pednekar. She is either in her nightwear or dressed in a saree, ready to go nowhere. Gauri has demanded Rs 2 crore from Govinda if he wants a divorce from her.
Govind is a wannabe choreographer who currently is a background dancer. He is also locked in a legal battle with his half-brother over a property worth crores. That dilapidated bungalow is at the center stage of this insipid saga wherein the audience wait for moments to laugh. But there are none. The humour is forced.
In the over two-hour-long movie, the first half is devoted to introducing the bunch of characters and set the stage for the story. Ideally, it should not have taken more than 15 minutes for this. Those who are brave enough to survive this first half, unfortunately, get nothing in the second half too. The second half deals with a murder and its unraveling.
In ‘Govinda…’ there were a slew of outstanding actors at the director’s disposal. They try their level best to perform and emote but their characters are so one-tone that they fall flat on the face. Renuka Shahane, Sayaji Shinde, Girish Oak, Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani, Bhumi Pednekar, Amey Wagh try to shoulder this dull drama but fall spectacularly. The writing is second-rate and dialogues are of garden-variety.
The director has combined two genres, comedy and a murder mystery and neither is handled aptly. The audience neither end up in stitches nor are shocked at the mystery.
Performance-wise Bhoomi oozes oomph and that’s about it. Bollywood is known to rope in good actresses and make them run around the tree for songs, and give them two or three scenes. Of late, especially on OTT, women had started getting better, meatier characters. With Gauri, ‘Govinda…’ sets that clock back again. Kiara Advani who plays Govinda’s girlfriend had a better character to play and delivers a passable performance.
The background score is quirky and the less said the better about the music and the lyrics. Sample this: ‘Mein ta teri leni hai….’ and after a pause.. ‘pappi’ is added. I rest my case.
The protagonist, Govinda Waghmare, is shown to be Marathi. The opening scene starts with paying tribute to Mumbai. However, there is no Marathi flavour. This movie could have been based in any part of the country.
However cliched it may sound, comedy is a serious business and if not taken seriously, the joke is on us. Last but not the least, ‘Govind Naam Mera’ certainly needed to be christened better. It is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.