wogma rating: Don't bother (?)
Pappu can't even make me laugh saala! Unfortunately, Pappu Can't Dance Saala is not worth it despite Vinay Pathak.Read more
Light or romantic comedies about people coming from the middle-class seem like they were from ages ago. From the age of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee. From the synopsis, Pappu Can't Dance Saala looks like a modern-day version of those stories. With an even-more "busting out of its seams" Mumbai, the small-town / big-city divide seems to have gotten only larger as the next generation has been born and brought up in the big city against the earlier generation which most likely had moved in from a smaller town. And since it is contemporary, these stories make me look forward to them even more given the glitz we are mostly served.
But given that Vinay Pathak is playing the village, moralistic soul stuck in horrifying big, bad Mumbai, you can't help the "already-seen" feeling the synopsis gives you. Add to that, the fact that the trailer does nothing to engage you -
The same old quibbles, the same old exaggeration of the unabashed city girl and the simple small town boy. The same old getting used to each other and starting to care for each other, the same old wanting to be with each other despite differences.
Further, another downer is that there is a pretext to have song and dance in the film, the lead lady is a dancer in a popular dance group. From where we are looking at, right now, it just looks like an excuse to get commercial elements in a non-high-profile film. (The music has released only recently and not one music review is available.)
Not to mention, the director Saurabh Shukla has the track record of making films that have interesting concepts but are average in execution or getting you engaged. And Pappu Can't Dance Saala doesn't even have an interesting concept. So, it will all depend on how it's executed and whether or not the details manage to get you involved.
Yet, there is one element in the film that makes me feel like watching it - Vinay Pathak. I think I can watch him do more of the same, just one more time.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Pappu Can't Dance Saala offers not an ounce more than what you would expect after you saw the trailer. The problem is that you expect boredom after watching the trailer.
The story is good ol' boy-meets-girl with a dash of city-village divide and a topping of opposites-attract. There is no humor, no spark, no emotional involvement because of the dreary situations and the monotonous dialogue given to fill in the details.
There's only so much that a brilliant actor like Vinay Pathak can do. Even though this time instead of the happy-go-luck simpleton, he plays the angry-irritable simpleton, it feels stale. I refuse to blame the actor just yet, the film is not fresh in its take or its treatment. Neha Dhupia annoys as desired by the character in the beginning but that too quickly begins to fall flat once you see a her absolutely uncivil, inconsiderate character grow a heart. Again, can't blame the actor.
Though casting her as a dancing superstar and moreso Rajat Kapoor as a choreographer is laughable. Rajat Kapoor who doesn't move as much as a finger in the name of dance through the film. I mean, thank goodness for some mercies and all that, but why cast him at all? Don't tell me there aren't enough people in the Saurabh Shukla-Vinay Pathak-Rajat Kapoor camp who couldn't have danced to prove why the character was so reveled.
There are a couple of moments in the film between Vinay Pathak and Neha Dhupia that are endearing, but that's too little to make a film a worthwhile watch. There is also an attempt to draw a balance between antagonist and misinformed attitudes between cities and small towns. But the first problem there is that in order to bridge the gap, the differences are shown in the same old stereotypical ways. By the time you see the modern views warming up to traditional ones and the traditional ones reciprocate, its too late. The second problem it's all too preachy.
Similarly, the effort taken to enlighten men to menstrual cycle woes is sweet and all but it's too in-the-face. It reminded me of the contraception ads in the 80s where one friend would explain the concept to another. This was one way to handle it and it didn't work, next time maybe we can try using sensitivity in order to sensitize.
I liked the attempt in the beginning to call off the ways in which a woman uses her fairer-gender card to her advantage. Using a man who sees through it and wants to treat a woman as his equal and thus won't allow her to gain out of it, went very well with how the character develops later. Only such a man could see, appreciate and accept a woman for what she is instead of just see her as either weak or as a converse characterless.
So many meaningful points to make and yet no cigar. Such is the sad story of Pappu and his inability to dance.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...The promise that it showed initially dries up in this hour. The goings-on, to put it bluntly, aren't bland, but get into the been-there-seen-that pattern... full review
Thumbs down, by Blessy Chettiar, DNA : ...Known otherwise for his impeccable comic timing, Vinay Pathak has once again lived up to his newly-acquired and thoughtfully built reputation of being a ham-handed comedian with all his ventures of 2011... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...It’s not that I have difficulty in buying the attraction between these two opposites. Stranger and odder couples have got it on, because, fundamentally, no one knows what does it for two people. But I had trouble keeping myself interested because of the flatness which the film suffers from, despite some nice touches. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...I have watched Vinay Pathak in at least three bad movies this year and in each of them, he plays the na ve simpleton, who is yet to learn the ways of the world.... full review
Thumbs down, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...Their tension-filled, confusing equation tries it's very best to throw us off with an illogically brooding act (*cough* Shekhar *cough* Kapur) by Rajat. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : ...Vinay Pathak has been typecast in the six-seven movies he’s featured in this year. It’s funny when people say that he adds up as the perfect ‘common man’. That would be true if the common man was a world-weary, self-righteous, blabbermouth who was also moralistic and preachy. These attributes may be collectively true for some but can it really be considered as the national average?... full review
vidushiarora: Pappu Can't Dance Saala - incredible, hilarious Neha Dhupia nvr fails 2 entertain us! Must watch 4 its cute adorable & yet hilarious nuances
sweeetstarr1: Watched Pappu Can't Dance Saala in Dubai !! Its one of your finest work till date !! Loved each scene !! You made my weekend♥ @Neha_Dhupia
Naadaan_Parinda: Pappu Can't dance saala is a nice film. Just a touch slow in narrative, but as compared to last 3 vinay pathak films, this one is good...
MoiezSmurfy: Rating Pappu Can't Dance Sala 2011 7/10..... Brilliant movie #bollywood
mevirag: Pappu can't dance sala...watch it to believe that indian cinema has variety and can make sense too..
SgrNeverland: LOL...'Pappu Can't Dance Saala' doesn't deserve 3 stars,TOI !! 2 is fair .. Watched it yest.Good acting but the movie is an epic bore
SanjeebKrPanda: "Pappu Can't Dance Saala" - Bull shit movie
Navjotalive: This movie is so bad that I might even right a review of it but I'm sure my views wud be echoed in @krnx 's review in mirror tomorrow.#PCDS
FridayBO: Reviews @ Dec 16th [Hindi/English] : *Pappu Can’t Dance Saala - 2/5 . *Jo Hum Chahein - 2/5. *WithLove,Delhi- 1/5. *MI4 - 2.5/5 . #FridayBO
BuckTheFad: So some people left in the middle of movie. I dint... should have 'pappu can't dance saala'
BollywoodFuNNy: Pathak thinks this role differs from anything else he's done. We don't- Pappu Can't Dance Saala
AmritaThavrani: Pappu Couldn't deliver Saala #PCDS
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.