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

January 28, 2011

Laugh a little

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 11:58 pm

January 28, 2011

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Emran Hashmi, Omi Vaidya, Tisca Chopra, Shruti Haasan, Shazahn Padamsee, Shraddha Das

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

With Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, Madhur Bhandarkar may have ditched those voyeuristic, exposé themes to try his hand at comedy, but his jokes are mostly packed with sexual innuendo and needless homophobia.

In an early voice-over we are introduced to a character who we’re told is only interested in the 3 Fs of life: fun, flirting, and the last one we’re asked to guess ourselves. In another scene at a funeral, a young chap introduces himself to the person standing beside him. “How do you do?” he asks. “Any way you like it,” the flaming gay man replies, rolling his eyes and licking his lips.

Not nearly as bawdy as The Hangover, and missing the innocent charm of a film like Chashme Buddoor, Bhandarkar’s Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji is an occasionally entertaining comedy about three single men and their misadventures with the ladies. Ajay Devgan is an introverted banker on the verge of divorce who becomes besotted with a young intern at his workplace. Emran Hashmi is a playboy gym instructor who must dump his rich girlfriend when he falls for her stepdaughter. And Omi Vaidya is an innocent virgin who has his heart set on a friendly radio jockey who’s shamelessly using him.

Subtlety isn’t one of Bhandarkar’s strengths, and he isn’t exactly known for writing layered characters either. Every character acts according to type in Dil To Baccha Hai Ji. So the Catholic intern (played by Shazahn Padamsee) enjoys wine with every meal and offers free salsa lessons to her boss. A former supermodel trapped in a loveless marriage (played by Tisca Chopra) picks up toy-boys to keep herself engaged. And an NRI ‘today’s girl’ (played by Shruti Haasan) doesn’t attach love or commitment to sex.

Despite relying on familiar tropes, Bhandarkar does create some lovely moments. The track between Devgan and Padamsee, for one, is surprisingly tender. His awkwardness at mingling with her younger friends, the heartbreaking discovery he makes at her grandmother’s home, even his initial efforts to draw her attention are played out nicely by Devgan, who makes the part his own.

Dil To Baccha Hai Ji is too long for a light-hearted comedy, and the dialogue is pedestrian. Still it’s not a complete waste of time; there are some laughs to be had. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for director Madhur Bhandarkar’s Dil To Baccha Hai Ji. Don’t go in expecting too much, and perhaps you won’t be too disappointed.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

12 Comments »

  1. What do you expect after taking Emraan Hashmi. The movie will be a hit? Forget it…… never, huh!

    Comment by Kunal — January 29, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  2. The movie flopped because of Hashmi, Shruti Haasan, Shazahn Padamsee and Das.

    Comment by Kunal — January 29, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  3. I agree with Rajeev, it is surely worth a watch. Light hearted comedies are pretty rare in current bollywood movies. Madhur Bhandarkar’s ability to go into depth is worth appreciating.

    Comment by Tejas — January 29, 2011 @ 1:38 am

  4. why does someone want Emraan Hashmi in such a movie???

    Comment by piyush — January 29, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  5. It is my suggestion that you do not use words like “pedestrian” and “low IQ” which you seem to use regularly. Somehow it suggest that you look down upon people who like the film, which I hope is not your intention.

    Comment by Ajay — January 29, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  6. “Subtlety isn’t one of Bhandarkar’s strengths, and he isn’t exactly known for writing layered characters either.” thats a perfect analysis of Madhur Bhandarkar’s work. For me,he is an average director

    Comment by Anubhav Malhotra — January 29, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  7. A movie buff specifically Bollywood or as most say Hindi Cinema. Stay in Dubai and give my own movie reviews on FB that is followed by a lot of people. Learning from you as you are my favorite critic.

    Love all your interviews and would love to know what it takes to be a critic as I am thoroughly interesrted to be one? Wwould love it if you replied to me and if possible met me once when I am in Mumbai next time 🙂

    Comment by Sagar Balani — January 29, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  8. nice movie.. must watch..

    Comment by Rajiv Walia — January 29, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  9. the movie was complete non sense and totally predictable.

    Comment by piyush — January 31, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  10. bad acting and very bad direction…

    Comment by piyush — February 1, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  11. This bacha shd have been aborted. Bad film, Predictable Humor, Bad casting, Horrible Direction, Horrible sound editing and lip syncing. Overall a perfect evening ruined.

    Comment by amit — February 2, 2011 @ 1:31 am

  12. An Average Film…… and too Lengthy… Not to Expect Much From this Movie…..

    Comment by Punit — February 22, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

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