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  • Published 29.09.08

Wrong time for steaming rice’ (a rough translation of Abelay Garam Bhaat) is a very poor remake of Basu Chatterjee’s laugh riot Shaukeen with a bunch of pot-bellied actors who are anything but funny. Abelay Garam Bhaat is painstakingly long (one hour and 40 minutes) with a ridiculous plot, incongruous situations, twists and turns that drive you crazy and a title that is as inane as the film itself.

The story starts with five bored old men — Paran, Biplab, Bibhu, Chinmoy and Shubhomoy — looking for some fun and freedom from their nagging wives. They plan escapades, downing whiskey, getting sloshed and singing songs on the roads. At the end of it, nothing works out and the men are resigned to their fate when Panchu (Biplab) refuses to bite the dust and decides to go ahead with a holiday in Digha.

So, his friends book a double-bedroom in a hotel and send a callgirl called Raima (Pamela) with Panchu. Raima wears hot pants and does an item number to seduce Panchu, but the 60-plus finds only innocence in her cleavage-heaving and hip-shaking moves! He promptly adopts her as his daughter. Then, all five oldies dress up in garish T-shirts and shorts, and sing songs with scantily-clad girls on the Digha beach.

Director Subhendu Ghosh could have stopped there but his creative juices know no bounds. So, Raima reveals her real Sati-Savitri self. She’s Rama, who had eloped with her boyfriend Rahul (Abhishek) to try their luck in Tollywood! From then on, Abelay Garam Bhaat goes into flashback mode, never to return to the present again. For there are more item numbers and more subplots. And you could only yawn and curse your luck for not being able to walk away like the rest of the audience who never came back post-interval for the Friday evening show at Bharati.