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Bajatey Raho

Acon caper with dark undertones helmed by a motley bunch of talented actors must have read like a winner on paper, but Bajatey Raho is neither really funny nor emotional.

Billed as a ‘revenge comedy’, Bajatey Raho has a premise pregnant with potential but is stuffed with such inanities that the only thing you do during its 110-minute running time is frantically check on your watch.

Like his last film Chalo Dilli, director Shashant Shah — best known for the Vinay Pathak tear-jerker Dasvidaniya — sets Bajatey Raho in the lanes and bylanes of Delhi. Pathak stars here too, a member of an honest family who have now turned tricksters. Their compulsion? Headed by matriarch Gurinder (Dolly Ahluwalia), the Baweja family of sons Sukhi (Tusshar Kapoor), Ballu (Ranvir Shorey) and Mintoo (Pathak) want to avenge the humiliation of their father, who died after his employer Sabharwal (Ravi Kissen) falsely implicated him of fraud.

The problem with most Bolly comedies is that there is too much happening at the same time. Bajatey Raho, on the other hand, suffers from vast stretches of nothingness with the plot failing to provide a backstory to its characters or a context to its actions.

Bajatey Raho has the look and feel of Vicky Donor. No wonder it derives most of its few laughs from the two women who made the Shoojit Sircar film such a sparkling watch. Dolly Ahluwalia — who played Vicky’s feisty mother in Vicky Donor — is a riot as an iPad-toting no-nonsense businesswoman, and with Kamlesh Gill, whose turn as Vicky’s whisky-drinking grandmom had us in splits, they are the life and soul of Bajatey Raho. The film uses very little of Gill, but as Vishakha Singh’s grandmom, she’s a knockout in the odd scene or two she pops up in.

When these two women aren’t on screen, Bajatey Raho is a mundane mess. Tusshar mentioned in a recent interview that Bajatey Raho had been written and re-written a couple of times. Well, that shows. The film’s only genuine laugh-out-loud moment is the nightclub rage Subah hone na de set to the tune of a Maa Sherawali bhajan! #Epic win.

Despite their comedic credentials, Vinay and Ranvir turn in half-hearted acts. The film fails to exploit the chemistry the two had made famous on television (Oye on Channel V and Ranvir Vinay Aur Kaun? on STAR One). Tusshar reminds us yet again that he might be better off with a career behind the camera. His romantic track with Vishakha (who’s very easy on the eye) pulls down the film further. Ravi Kissen plays the baddie with elan but tends to overdo to the point where it grates. The music — churned out by five music men, no less — is eminently forgettable.

Bajatey Raho remains yet another Bolly film that promised much and delivered little. Well, until next Friday.