With the surge in unlikely hits with slightly offbeat subjects or a less-celebrated star-cast, there are an equal number of misses; films that promise to be one of the former from their trailers but once you have been seated in the hall, it turns out to be a punishment and boredom episode.
Total Siyapaa is one such movie which contains only as much fun as shown (or rather deceived) in the promos. It is too flat, inspires meek laughter here and there and disappoints an enthusiastic cinema-goer overall.
Eshwar Niwas, a national award winner (Shool, 1999) film-maker who has given us comedies like Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega (2001) and adrenalin gushing thrillers like Dum (2003) has perhaps (and hopefully) made his ‘Dum-best’ movie of his career.
You can safely assume no work has been done on story, writing, script or screenplay. In fact, the film feels like one of those misdirected one-act plays that put you off as a drama lover at times. Remember Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007) on a similar theme and style was a repeatedly enjoyable movie while this one is a complete mess.
|An it-all-happened-in-one-night kind of story, very paper thin and not so entertaining.|
|The lead pair fail to grab opportunity and rarely do their job in the humour department, only saving grace is Kirron and the stingy guy.|
|The film seems as if it was directed by a last bencher of a film institute, absolutely poor direction from such a talented film-maker.|
|One wonders why the film is based in London if it were to be shot entirely inside a house.|
|Ali Zafar is an ace musician and he has composed a nice album.|
|Why would someone make a lacklustre film such as this, it’s not funny as it should be, is rather unbearable. Review Scores by Saurin Shah.|
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Also we have seen many movies on this opposites-falling-in-love-and-having-trouble-convincing-families formula mostly with either the difference of age (Cheeni Kum, 2007), rich-poor or different communities (Khanna & Iyer, 2008 and Two States, 2014), police-gangster and so on.
This time they come up with an Indian-Pakistani couple hoping it will create chaotic comedy which does not happen mainly because there are no scenes, sequences executed well enough to provide enough laughing fodder for audiences.
Asha an NRI in London convinces her boyfriend to meet her family anticipating he would impress them so they could get married and live happily ever after.
Things were never going to be easy with him being a Pakistani. A series of unexpected and unimaginable events results in the family along with Aman going around the city the whole night trying to solve a problem which could put them, him and their relationship into deep trouble.
During the course of this, the makers try to add some funny situations with some half developed characters.
Ali Zafar is a brilliant musician and a very charming man – quite evident from his fan following. But, for an unknown reason he looks like one of those decent, well-behaved guys of the 1980’s and 90’s no matter what character he plays.
He may be a right choice for cult films like Tere Bin Laden (2010) where the story and situations take a driver’s seat putting actors as secondary, but in character roles like the one he played in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011) and this one, he looks too inhibited and plain salad sans any spice.
His style, dialogues, mannerisms are so so guy-next-door and not into the character or ‘hero’ type. Talking about his role, he does an average job lacking in comic timing just like his co-star Yami who is still more suitable for limited types of roles like the one he played in his first film.
The rest are passable (brother, grandpa and sister) but it’s real fun watching Kirron Kher performing her role – she keeps the comic tempo high in each scene, also the guy who plays the stingy husband of Asha’s sister, he is so natural; Anupam Kher is completely wasted.
‘Palat meri jaan’ is a cool romantic number and my personal favourite is the laid back song ‘Nahi Maloom’. Ali’s music and singing are top class.
So, go for Total Siyapaa only if you have time to kill and have been waiting long to see Yami again on a 70mm screen after a long time. And if you do choose to watch it, watch out for two scenes: first where Kirron is amazed to find Aman ran away with her soup and insists he keeps it to show her love and acceptance; and two, the stingy guy who waits for the store’s closing time so that he can grab clearance discount!