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

February 19, 2010

Match made in hell

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 8:21 pm

February 19, 2010

Cast: Tabu, Sharman Joshi, Vatsal Seth, Yuvika Chaudhary

Director: Kedar Shinde

What do you call an elder sister who encourages her younger sibling to fall in love with a promising suitor, then demands that she forget about him and focus her attention on the next guy, when it appears this one might be more loaded?

Toh Baat Pakki, directed by Kedar Shinde, is an idiotic and regressive film that’s trying to pass off as a light-hearted family entertainer in the spirit of those old-fashioned Rajshri movies.

Tabu stars as Rajeshwari Saxena, a meddlesome but well-meaning housewife who’s playing ping-pong with her li’l sister’s feelings. After orchestrating a romance between houseguest Rahul (played by Sharman Joshi) and younger sister Nisha (played by Yuvika Chaudhary), she decides to break up the couple when she finds a more eligible guy, Yuvraj (played by Vatsal Seth) who she believes is more deserving of her sister’s hand.

The inherently offensive nature of the film’s central premise is shrouded under the director’s feel-good treatment of the same. Set in a quaint, idyllic small-town that distinctly resembles Ooty, the film struggles unsuccessfully to channel the simplistic, charming humour of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films, and the family-friendly melodrama of Sooraj Barjatya’s early hits. But in the absence of a coherent script, and the obvious lack of conviction on the director’s part, Toh Baat Pakki is ultimately a bumpy, confused ride.

The film’s second half in particular is convoluted and unconvincing what with Rahul embarking on a preposterous plan to sabotage Nisha’s wedding with Yuvraaj.

Of the cast, Sharman Joshi makes a half-decent attempt to save those uninspired scenes with his spontaneous charm, and Tabu knows exactly how to play Rajeshwari naively without turning her into the villain of the piece. But dumped with such mediocre material, neither is able to rise above this travesty.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Kedar Shinde’s Toh Baat Pakki. Merely throwing in a half-dozen songs and littering the film with a hundred smiling faces won’t turn it into the next Hum Aapke Hain Koun.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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