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By Strictly unfunny and way too long, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji is a big bore Pratim D. Gupta Did you like/not like Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji? Tell
  • Published 29.01.11

Madhur Bhandarkar wanted to create an altogether new genre for funny films in Indian cinema. And you know what, he has done it. Because unlike most Bollywood comedies these days which lack the sense, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji lacks the humour!

The man who has shocked to conquer “over 10 years of Madhur cinema” — from sodomy to paedophilia — has made such a bland and boring film that even if your dil stays bachcha (yes, that’s how we’d rather spell it) after the two-and-a-half-hour ordeal, you are sure to lose some (if not several) years.

What was the man thinking when he decided to helm this insipid tortoise of a movie? For someone who’s made Chandni Bar and Fashion, Satta and Page 3, this is an experiment that should have never left the lab.

The setting is as archaic as it gets. You have three men in several stages of manhood — Naren (Ajay Devgn) the divorcee hitting a mid-life crisis, Abhay (Emraan Hashmi) the Casanova who believes in “so aur soney do” and Milind (Omi Vaidya) the virgin looking for true love — bumping into girls they want to spend time with.

Over the next 16 reels they would drink coffee and red wine, do hot yoga and salsa, exchange flowers and photographs, give blood and bribe loans and yet their status would not change one bit. It’s only you sitting in that plex chair who continues to lose stuff. This time, your hair.

In fact, the funniest thing about Madhur’s first attempt at comedy is the name game for the girls — June Pinto (Shazahn Padamsee), Gungun Sarkar (Shraddha Das) and Nikki Narang (Shruti Haasan). Wish as much thought had gone into the characters and their lines.

The only conscious concern here seems to be that this is “a Madhur Bhandarkar film”. And so in what is clearly a tasteless sex comedy (“I was only three when you lost your ‘V’” — Miss Pinto laughs at Naren while Miss Narang mocks her polygamous father — “Ok Dad let your juices flow!”) you have things like charity events for challenged children and youths nabbed for drunken driving cropping up out of nowhere.

It’s not every day you admire the craft of Rohit Shetty but at least there are no pretensions in his Golmaal comedies. Madhur doesn’t have a plot — does he ever have one? — and this time he doesn’t even have an issue or industry to highlight. So what we are left with are clunky scenes joined together in a never-ending unfunny stretch with jarring background music. Cue again for you to lose... sleep, if you had snoozed off.

Don’t worry, the actors are sleepwalking, too. Emraan Hashmi, who by now cannot possibly tell one entry from another in his filmography, swaggers and smirks through yet another movie. He is Mr ATM (Any Time Mohabbat, if you must know) and, since it’s Madhur cinema, Emraan gets to romance a mom-and-daughter on screen — he is the toy boy of Tisca Chopra, Shruti’s stepmother.

As much as you had loved Omi Vaidya in 3 Idiots, you will hate him in Dil Toh... Saddled with a single-toned role, Kelkar here is no Palekar and is infuriatingly irritating throughout. Just like his shayari in the film, usmein bahut dard hai, lekin doosron ke liye sardard hai.

Ajay Devgn is the only watchable man in the middle who cannot help but be charmed by the bubbly new intern in office. It’s a refreshing change from his intense, brooding screen assignments and his loud buffoonery jobs in Shettywood.

The girls take part in their own game show Kamzor Kadi Kaun, each trying their best to be worse than the other. If Shazahn keeps smiling, Shruti doesn’t ever move a single facial muscle and Shraddha is only taang ki dukaan. Even the otherwise reliable Tisca Chopra is all misplaced intensity here. What about our own Rituparna Sengupta? In a two-scene cameo — as Ajay’s estranged wife — she is the most watchable lady in the movie.

Hit machine Pritam supplies the film with his regulation hummers — Mohit Chauhan’s Abhi kuch dino se, Shefali Alvaris’s Dil hai nakhrewala and Sonu Nigam’s Tere bin. But nothing can possibly top Kishore Kumar’s classic Koi hota jisko apna, which is used more than once in the film.

No Hrishikesh Mukherjee, no Basu Chatterjee, no Vijay Anand — the names he had mentioned in a pre-release interview with t2 — Madhur Bhandarkar should simply stick to being Madhur Bhandarkar. If you have worked so hard and built a brand which others try to copy, why run from it yourself? Perhaps you didn’t read the lines leading up to your title card? Hai zor karein, kitna shor karein... Bewaja baatein pe ainwe gaur karein... Dilsa koi kameena nahin...!