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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009

    Default Review: Bheja Fry 2 is hollow and brain-numbing

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    Bheja Fry 2 -- the sequel to 2007's sleeper hit by the same name is a labouring effort at taking the madcap protagonist's story forward. Vinay Pathak's [ Images ] Bharat Bhushan reprises the role of a middle-aged simpleton idiot, mostly a screwball, who ends up doing well. His intentions often unclear, his actions are misleading.

    Where the film required an overall evolution, it remains a recycled version of its predecessor, barely going anywhere relying hands-off on Pathak's poorly timed futility.

    On winning some reality show, he gets a couple of days on a sprawling cruise as attractive bonanza.

    He is also an income tax scribe, which doesn't come as terrific news to fraudulent business tycoon Ajit Talwar (K K Menon) who's cruising away from the teething troubles of being a duplicitous multi-company owner. A sketchy plan of his, aided by caricature allies involves dumping the supposed tax-inspector into the sea and breath the ocean-air easy.

    However, Talwar throws himself out, and cracked up Bhushan follows suit. The duo gets cast away on a marooned island. And a host of mortifying mishaps follow, where a deserted emotion called humour is expected.

    Alas, it never boarded the ship at first.

    If the first half leads you in believing some faithful insane hilarity is about to show up, the second half flounders drearily swimming away into unending boredom. Bharat Bhushan's endearing eccentricity from the first film gets replaced by irritating foolhardiness here, causing a massive puncture in this ambitious voyage.

    Add to it, it really is not many people's idea of pleasure to witness a couple of not-very-attractive men abandoned on a serene island, where one spots the other's flashy red underwear and demands it be removed, for it is a potential device to draw attention for their rescue. Hu, Hu, Hu.

    It is incomprehensible how the screen-writers even thought of the two-men-lost-on-an-island operation to be even remotely comical when the entire crew on-board in first half couldn't inspire too many chuckles.

    Bharat Bhushan being alienated with worldly mannerisms is still excusable, for it being the characters' rub. But strolling down the forsaken island crooning Rafi songs, without showing any dashes of panic, asks for an urgent medical help reflecting mental disability.

    It entirely invalidates his job profile of being a tax supervisor. Witnessing his insanity escalate to such preposterous statures qualifies him to be entirely incapable of handling any kind of job, leave alone being an IT sleuth.

    It is exclusively separate what a rock star of an actor Vinay Pathak is. Although he tries his best not to lose his uniquely crafted identity, it goes beyond his best efforts when he is drafted scenes like showing his radium-watch to a freaking Talwar.

    More so, as it ends up in an overdose of Pathak's uniform zaniness, even his peculiar accent of over-stressing on punches, and of excitement surging in his voice surrenders to monotony. It falls horizontal lacking any kind of variations.

    KK Menon's Ajit Talwar is a stressfully written character. A casually suited-up corporate, he is got a wife, girlfriends', darlings' and yet finds Minissha Lamba [ Images ] irresistible and comes to a sensual proximity only to be shown the door. Now, this guy might be an egocentric upscale personality, but he also is entirely unexciting and plain boring.

    The otherwise proficient actor gets restricted with two-three expressions to display. He is mostly alarmed or frustrated, and mostly couriers his angst without any aggression. So less that it is polite.

    Where you would rupture a coconut tree and violently thrash Pathak's Bhushan, KK Menon's Talwar remains calmly irritated. Ho-Hum.

    Amol Gupte enacts a song-fixated Raghu Burman. He lives in a grounded tree-house armed with a gun like the one you see with a bank guard. The writers show immense laziness with him. He's got zero dimensions; he is hysterical, misses his mother and also his only love.

    Eh, whatever.

    Irrespective of his state, it only asserts that Bheja Fry 2 relies on forced material which defies logic making the story mind-numbing. Apart from being pathetically foreseeable, the story even reaches stagnation at one point.

    Suresh Menon as the actual investigating IT guy fills up for Ranveer Shorey's absence and there are many childish quarrels added between him and Bhushan over the North -- South culture divide. They call each other kutte ki tatti (dog shit) and some other crap -- flavoured abuses.

    Minissha Lamba is more prominent in news-space for other reasons than she is in the movie. Reduced to an executive-type role, she appears adorable but speaks her lines with clenched teeth, as if secretly frowning at her producer. There's an attempt at a romantic inclination between Bumpkin Bhushan and Lady Lamba which ends up awkward and trivial.

    Misidentifying Bheja Fry 2's seductive wrapping to contain a bustling firecracker would be inviting dissatisfaction. The packaging can never re-arrange dynamics of a film that is essentially shallow in content, monotonous in performances and lethargic in its story-telling.

    The first one was fittingly lifted from French film Le Dinner De Cons -- and survived with the engaging plot and Bharat Bhushan's contagious inanity.

    However, when it has come down on director Ballary and debutante producer Mukul Deora to shoulder a film wholly on originality, they simply and quite blandly have bubbled-out.

    At its best, Bheja Fry 2 is an unexceptional monsoon mad-caper attempting to entertain with its witlessness and idiocy posing as heroic and humorous. At times, the film appears like a forcefully enacted stage play with annoying characters.

    While the makers would want to believe they have an intelligent product centring on bizarre and daft protagonists', it ironically lands their film being inadvertently resembling the very same people -- brainless bummers.

    ...being a human...

  2. #2
    Runner Up - Admins Awards
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    Dec 2009


    Take the idiot out of familiar settings, and what do you have? Well, a confused idiot, to begin with. And another session of Bheja Fry, set on a much larger scale than the original, but not as much fun.

    Vinay Pathak’s lovable idiot, Bharat Bhushan, returns for another outing in Bheja Fry 2, and set for the most part on a luxury cruise liner, it’s quite an outing. Given the first film’s suspect ‘inspirations’ (it was an unauthorised remake of the French film, Le Diner De Cons), the original Bheja Fry earned as many brickbats from critics as it did bouquets from the box-office. Second time around, though, director Sagar Ballary is clear that he wants to tread an all original path; however, the comic results here seem a bit half-baked when compared to its predecessor.
    For one, where the first film had a believable premise with the all-singing, all-talking Bhushan ruining Ranjeet Thadani’s dinner game, Bheja Fry 2 doesn’t quite seem clear about what it wants to do with Bharat, putting him in some rather convoluted situations, all for laughs. So, here, after winning a quiz show on national TV, Bhushan finds himself on a cruise ship to Singapore as the first prize. Also on the ship is Ajit Talwar, played by Kay Kay Menon, who is a big-time industrialist, trying to escape being financially probed by income tax sleuths, led by Bhushan’s best friend and fellow tax inspector, M. T. Shekharan. When Ajit mistakes Bharat for one of the people after him, he tries to do away with him, throwing him overboard and inadvertently ends up on a deserted island with him, where he gets a full dose of Bhushanmania.
    Bheja Fry 2‘s premise is funny by the halves. If the impatient Ajit is Bharat’s main foil, then it has to be said that Sagar takes far too long to establish this equation in the film. The first half drags a bit as Bharat just floats around the cruise ship annoying and bothering random characters.

    The giggles abound in fits and starts, but the madness kicks in only in the second half when Ajit and Bharat find themselves alone on the island, with nobody else but Talwar for Bhushan to speak to. It is here that Pathak comes into his element, writing lyrics on the sand instead of looking for help, creating flags out of Ajit’s undergarments and still finding time to slather on a generous coat of Vicco Turmeric onto his face.
    While the Saigal-and-Rafi obsessed Bhushan still had his wits about him in the first film, it’s a bit odd that Ballary almost makes a moron out of him here. Still the comic energy flows, especially when Bharat finds himself on screen with Shekharan, played by Suresh Menon. Amole Gupte is also funny but a bit irritable in his cameo as Raghu Burman, a people-phobic wildlife photographer who stays alone with his radio and Geetmala shows on the island.
    Where the plot of the film most errs is in the final resolution, where Bhushan allows Talwar to go off scot-free for no apparent reason, especially since there isn’t a single redeeming value that Ajit exhibits.
    Vinay excels in his part as Bhushan, getting into the skin of the almost-annoying character. The comic chemistry between him and Kay Kay is also interesting, though the latter gets no laughs. On his part, Suresh Menon carries off Shekharan quite well, his ultra-patriotic tax inspector almost as quirky as Bhushan, and worthy of a spinoff. Minissha Lamba has little to do as Ranjini, the producer on Bhushan’s quiz show.
    Overall – For a film about a character like Bhushan, Bheja Fry 2 is woefully short on music, even though tracks like O Rahi are worth a listen.
    Sagar Ballary’s second turn with Bharat Bhushan is more ‘fry’ than ‘bheja‘.
    Still, with the talented Vinay Pathak in control of things, this release is good for more than a few giggles. While it may take a while to get into chuckle-mode, one can be sure that with Bharat, it’s worth the wait.
    ...being a human...



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