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    Default Mayank Shekhar's review: Shakal Pe Mat Ja

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    Director: Shubh Mukherjee
    Actors: Shubh Mukherjee, Raghuveer Yadav, Saurabh Shukla
    Rating: *

    Donít judge a book by its cover. So this filmís title suggests: Shakal Pe Mat Jaa, donít go by the looks. I see the hopeless looks on peopleís faces as they emerge from this movie just as Iím about to enter its next show, and immediately wonder: Should I really go in? As luck would have it, Iím already in, holed up for hours, like the four main characters in this film.

    Weíre inside the theatre, of course, technically not allowed to get out. Theyíre inside an airport, caught by cops, because they were filming without permission shots of flights landing and taking off. The coppers are convinced these blokes are terrorists. Youíre sure theyíre just average Joes, plain nuts about some vague ideas about becoming famous, making movies. This is true for most of northwest Mumbai. Hence, this supposedly recycled rubbish.

    Success of Ready produces Bodyguard. On the other end of the spectrum, acceptance of films like Delhi Belly, Tere Bin Laden, creates stuff like these: Paunchy Ďbeardoí in this gang of four uncontrollably farts out of indigestion (reminds you of Kunal Roy Kapurís flatulent Nitin). Bin Laden makes an appearance as Omama, in the form of actor Zakir Hussain (takes you back to the awesome Pradhuman Singh in Osama gear).

    Weíre supposed to be at the Delhi international airport. It looks like a suburban shopping mall, with signage pasted with scotch-tapes on the walls. This airport is under attack by actual jehadi terrorists, from an outfit called Al Baqaeda. The basement is their base-camp. The way the screechy heads of Central Industrial Security Force (Raghuveer Yadav), Anti-terrorism squad (Saurabh Shukla) react to this problem; youíre likely to be scared away from taking flights for the rest of your life. Nothing makes sense, or is meant to.

    This picís supposed to be a comedy. So what do you do? Look around for jokes. Itís a tough job, unless feeding a kid chili for chocolate counts for a gag, and constant references to toon pornstar Savita Bhabi in magazine form makes you fall off your chair.

    Itís been a while inside the theatre, like itís been for these dull guys at the airport. Lunacy has no limits. Iím told over Rs 2 crore have been spent on this. Which is good to know. With films like these finding their way out of cans, slowdown will never hit the entertainment economy. Everybody will find a job.

    Writer-director casts himself as the hero Shah Rukh Khan. It turns into the ideal family film then, to be enjoyed by the filmmakerís friends and family alone. I peer at the faces around me at the theatre. Of course, you shouldnít go by their looks. Or reviews for that matter. Watch it yourself. Come on, you can do it.



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