Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 16, 2009

Funny side up

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:40 pm

October 16, 2009

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu, Mughda Godse

Director: Rohit Shetty

Tucked away beneath those pointless songs and some ridiculous, overblown action scenes is a silly yet surprisingly enjoyable tale of misunderstandings and mistaken identities. Like most Bollywood comedies these days, All The Best is far too long, but it has a winning combination of cleverly crude humour and genuine sweetness.

Directed by Rohit Shetty, the man behind the two recent Golmaal films – the first hilarious, the second not so – All The Best stars Fardeen Khan and Ajay Devgan as buddies Veer and Prem, who owe an awful lot of money to a local don, but have no means to raise it. Renting out Veer’s sprawling Goa bungalow seems to be their only choice, but when Dharam, his burly step-brother played by Sanjay Dutt, shows up unannounced, Veer and Prem find themselves trapped in a mess of their own making.

To increase his monthly pocket money, Veer has been lying to Dharam that he’s married to his girlfriend Vidya, but Dharam has never met his sister-in-law. When Dharam mistakes Prem’s wife Jhanvi (played by Bipasha Basu) for Vidya, no one bothers to correct him. So the real Vidya (played by Mughda Ghodse) must pretend to be Prem’s girlfriend Jhanvi.

Confused? Wait there’s more. There’s also the issue of the don’s loan, and the new tenant wanting to move into the bungalow, but Veer and Prem are trying hard to hide those dirty little secrets from Dharam.

An ensemble piece, apparently based on a popular play, All The Best wanders aimlessly for its first 15-odd minutes, only to come into its own with the arrival of Dutt’s character Dharam, whose scenes with Devgan’s Prem are easily the film’s funniest.

The set-up also includes a bunch of madcap characters including a mute gangster who communicates by rattling a spoon inside a glass, a Malyalee housemaid with a deep voice, a crackpot tenant who can’t wait to move into his new house, and a tempo-driver who wants to unload the furniture in his vehicle so he can attend to his pregnant wife.

The humour in this film isn’t exactly smart, but it helps that the makers give you little time to dwell on that fact. The jokes come flying at you from all directions, and it’s hard not to break into laughs when a big guy like Sanjay Dutt participates in the silliness.

Shorter in length – its songs sacrificed, its action scenes trimmed – All The Best might have been a great Diwali treat. As it currently stands, it’s a delicious one-time watch. I’m going with three out of five for director Rohit Shetty’s All The Best; it’s your best bet at the movies this weekend.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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