Film Review: Bhagam Bhag

Film: Bhagam Bhag 

Producer: Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd and Popcorn Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd.

Director: Priyadarshan

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Paresh Rawal, Lara Dutta, Rajpal Yadav, Jackie Shroff, Arbaaz Khan 

Rating: 3.5/5

India’s very own Dumb and Dumber Bunty (Akshay Kumar) and Babla (Govinda) are two stage actors who’ve been entrusted upon the job of finding a heroine. 

In London for a performance, their director the affable Champak Seth (Paresh Rawal) has told them that whoever will source a heroine will be the hero of the play. The two trouble-prone buffoons are loose on the streets of London, and befriend an Indian driver Gullu (Rajpal Yadav). They chance upon a pretty girl Munni (Lara Dutta) who seems insistent on giving up her life, and offer her the role. But things are not what they seem and the two, along with Seth delve deeper and deeper into trouble. 

True to its name, the film has lots of bhagam bhag and the most original comic gags you’d have seen in a long time.  As is the case with most comedies in the past year or so, there are multiple plots running simultaneously, a host of misunderstandings multiplying the confusion and a climax that has all the characters confess in monologues, piecing the jigsaw puzzle together. What’s more interesting about Bhagam Bhag is that the plots are all innovative, the confusion is hilarious and the second half even sees a murder mystery insinuate its way into the story. 

There are scenes that undoubtedly make you reminiscence the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do  Yaaron – the stage as a setting, a dead body, and villains that are more bumbling idiots than anything else. 

One sore point though – one truly wishes such comedies would just leave women alone. Right in the middle of some genuine humour are unnecessary sexist jokes like – `Tu agar ladki ko izzat dega, to who tujhe apni izzat degi’. And of course the other staple – countless jokes revolving around the toilet.

The songs by Pritam are fairly hummable, though not memorable. The background score adds to the fun. Cinematography by Jeeva is top notch, and so is the editing by Gopal Kishore and Arun Kumar. The second half could have benefited with a few minutes of trimming though. 

Priyadarshan despite making one comedy after the other (Hera Pheri, Malaamal Weekly, Garam Masala) has not jaded, in fact has only shown great interest in working the genre to its maximum effect. All the actors here are in top form. Govinda as Babla, the dumber of the two, is happy to play second fiddle to Akshay Kumar and concentrates on getting his act right. Lovable as the simpleton stage actor who’s always dominated by a more educated Bunty, Govinda is first rate. Yes, he does look older than the last time you saw him on screen, but his performance makes up for it.  

Paresh Rawal doesn’t have that much to do here, but is imminently watchable as the theatre director, forming the troubled trio. Akshay Kumar deserves special mention as he effortlessly carries the film on his shoulders. His comic timing is impeccable, right from his deadpan dialogue delivery to his hilarious gestures, and he manages this without going over-the-top.  Again, a film won’t really work, if the actors, however accomplished, have zero chemistry between them. In Bhagam Bhag, the three work together extremely well, completing each other’s timing to the spot. 

One of the more difficult genres to make, a comedy to work, has to have clean writing, direction, performances, editing and technique. This film has it all. Enjoy this raucous comedy and be ready to fall off your chair. Even the most cynical watcher won’t be able to stifle a laugh.

Sonia Chopra

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