Film: Mr Black Mr White
Director: Deepak Shivdasani
Banner: White House Productions Limited, Eros Entertainment
Producer: Bipin Shah
Cast: Sunil Shetty, Arshad Warsi, Sandhya Mridul, Mahima Mehta
Good things first. Suniel Shetty and Arshad Warsi make a good combination. But a good combination alone does not make a good film. A lukewarm script, lack of energy and sub-standard production values let the film down more than the brand of humor it proudly wears.
Mr Black Mr White is a comic caper filled with every trick in the book to make the audience laugh. It has a gaon-ka-pattha Suniel Shetty come to the big bad city to look for the guy who will hand him back his rightful land.
Then it has a straighter-than-a-coil small-time crook Arshad Warsi who cons people so that he can educate his sister (in London. Wonder HOW much money he does make!?!) and at the same time cons his sweet girlfriend too.
Then there is love-deprived damsel Anishka Khosla, a poor little rich girl suitably Indianised by Suniel Shetty to fall in love with. Then there is a manic-Maa-ka-laadla Don Ashish Vidyarthi (His name in the movie is ‘laadla’ too) in search of three Charlies Angles who have made off with his beloved Maa’s jewels. And then there are the Charlies Angles themselves showing skin and some more. (You expected them to show something else eh?)
Amongst all of this there is a plot which involves Suniel chasing Arshad chasing Angels being chased by Don too and a goofy police Inspector continually confused about who is he really chasing. Ouf!
An over-ambitious script with a clear aim to appeal to all sections of the masses kills the potential it had to be a real ball. Typically there is comedy, emotion, drama, thrills, bikinied-babes-on-beaches, glitzy and mediocre disco songs with some love thrown in for good measure. These don’t really stall the screenplay but sure take the fun out of it.
The film has nothing new to boast of and most of the treatment is re-hashed. A comedy is in its treatment not so much in its story. This film lacks the energy of one. Warsi and Sharat Saxena are brilliant in giving the film that pace and freshness but are alone. The screenplay lacks a tightness or maybe it is the lack of vision.
It is fun to see two experienced actors comfortable with comedy playing the fool in a film full of hitches and glitches. Warsi’s comic timing is as flawless as Shetty’s act of playing the simpleton is endearing. Warsi has been waiting too long in the wings for his dues from Bollyland and it better recognize the superb talent that it has fast. Not only is this guy versatile but fills the screen with his presence and is no less when it comes to style.
Shetty proved his strength at playing the simpleton with full gusto way back in Gopi Kishan (a stark reminder of that super-hit of his resonates all through this one, from his name to his style) and in more recent times in Hera Pheri.
Here too he does his routine, though with far less verve than he has shown in his earlier films. But it is clear why he is so loved for it. He is simply so comfortable playing the part. Saxena stands out with his low on hamming, high on timing performance and also has a cracking role to deliver. He is another actor who has proved his versatility in a range of characters reminiscent of the late Amrish Puri, although his repertoire cannot be compared.
The two actresses, Rashmi Nigam and Anishka Khosla, have little to do but to smile, simper, dance, and support the heroes as suitable arm-candies except the bit that tries hard to show even the rich have a heart. (A yet another hackneyed track Bollywood loves.)
And the three perpetually bikini-ed babes, well, less said about them the better. Sandhya Mridul once said in an interview that she loves breaking the stereotypes Bollywood keeps putting her in. Well, she seems to be doing a good job of it. Who needs meaty performance-oriented roles with some amount of screen-time anyway?
Although good in parts and not really so bad, it sadly isn’t so good either. It could do for a lazy Sunday afternoon when the over-worked brain needs some rest and there is absolutely no option. But otherwise, it is not well worth the effort to go to the cinema hall to catch it.