wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
Story hasn't a head or a tail. Some characters are both male and female. Nothing else distinguishes one from the other. But the jokes are timed to induce enough laughter.Read more
You know those plots for typical slapsticks where four good-for-nothing men are friends for some reason. And for some reason or the other end up homeless and are looking for a landlord to fool. Or these friends have a good-natured landlord, with a beautiful relative, who one or all of them have an eye on. Or the good-natured landlord/landlady is being harassed and the foursome come to the rescue. Well we have all the four element in Paying Guests. And guess what? It doesn't mask itself by having some random name, it says at the upfront, "Paying Guests".
First things first. The plot is a clear and outright copy of the Marathi film Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi. What can you say when the writers don't even bother to change some of the details? Of course there are a few changes, especially towards the end. But then the changes are copies or MAYBE tributes to other films.
Despite all of this though, you are laughing. I'm an inch away from being a self-proclaimed slapstick-hater-thus-basher. You can imagine how the ego hurt when I found myself laughing unstoppably at some of the lines. Of course, I had to rationalize it. Many, if not almost all, the jokes are predictable. They are timed as you would expect from ace comedians/actors like Javed Jaffery/Shreyas Talpade. Though even they couldn't pull off being dressed as women and not look distasteful. Chunkey Pandey and Ashish Chowdhary manage to get a few smiles out too. Yet, there's nothing spectacularly remarkable about the comic timing of the joke per se. The hilarious bits were the reactions of the actors to the joke itself. This is best experienced rather than read about.
Now, is the experience is worth tolerating 2 hours of non-stop non-sense? Especially with the inevitable loudness and exaggerated body language associated with the genre. With people running helter-skelter, hiding in closets, and banging into stuff. This brings us to the entire range of non-acting and over-acting - from Delnauz to Riya Sen to Celina Jaitley - the eye candy remains just that or not - you read some of the names on that list, right?
The characters and story doesn't seem to have received much attention. And yet, the silliness of the climax is just beyond expression. It so looked like the makers were a couple of pegs down...actually make that four, when they were writing/shooting it. And you might do well downing a few too, to enjoy this one.
- meeta, a part of the audience
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