Cast: Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Shreyas Talpade
Director: Shreyas Talpade
Prem Chopra has a candid catchphrase in Dulhe Raja: Nanga nahayega kya, nichodega kya. This literally translates to ‘a poor guy doesn’t have the luxury of bathing and rinsing his clothes.’ Metaphorically, it means a person without clothes has nothing to hide.
When Chaudhary Jagawar (Sunny Deol) finds himself trapped inside a closed tunnel, he decides to shed his clothes as this seems to him a deadly mix of ‘sensationalism and protest’. Shedding clothes isn’t a metaphor here. He actually does so.
A remake of commercially successful Marathi film Poshter Boyz, this one is set somewhere in Haryana where three good Samaritans find themselves on posters promoting vasectomy, ‘nasbandi’ in Hindi. Apparently, it’s a big deal for the society they live in and now nobody wants to have a relationship with them or their families.
But Jagawar and two of his allies, Vinay Sharma (Bobby Deol) and Arjun Singh (Shreyas Talpade), who is also the director of the film, take on the health department to prove that their photo was published without their permission. Until they clear their names, they’ll remain the butt of jokes.
To begin with, it’s a sensible theme that arrests our attention and focuses it on the problem of population explosion and how the desire of having a son is leading us nowhere. Talpade sets a particular mood which may remind you of Rohit Shetty brand of cinema. You know dialogues like, ‘Abe isne toh meter ka connection hi katwa diya’, or, ‘Ye chemical dhamki hai, formula toh sahi se dekhna padega na.’
Consider this as well:
A: Gussa thook do.
It seems these must have worked in the original film.
Then you meet characters who laugh with a goat’s voice in the background, or A slaps B because it’s slapstick comedy. Sorry the second one was Sajid Khan, but Sherays Talpade must have learnt something from him.
It’s all hunky-dory in the beginning. You have seen the trailer and you know sooner or later they will show the posters with the three leads on it. Talpade almost takes 30 minutes to reach there, but it’s fine till you watch gags like this:
An old trigger-happy blind woman who sleeps with a revolver under her pillow touches Sunny Deol’s face and says, “Dharmendra?’
Bobby Deol suffices, “Nahi unka beta.”
It’s ok, but I laughed more after that when Talpade looks at Bobby Deol with a quizzical expression, and his look says it had to be said. What else could you do?
That’s right. What else could you do! Maybe you could rename it Yamla Pagla Deewana 3.
Here’s another one:
A character: Aapko maine kahin dekha hai!
Sunny Paaji: Lekin main toh Kashmir ke border pe tha. Fir Punjab border pe chala gaya. Fir Rajasthan border pe chala gaya.
A character: Haan, lekin maine aapko kahin dekha hai!
Bobby Deol: Haan JP Dutta ki Border me dekha hoga.
And before everybody disperses for the next scene, a faint voice connects the dots, “JP Dutta ka apna border hai?”
I always laugh on such jokes.
But before you start judging me for being a consumer of slapstick comedy, let me tell you how these are the only instances where I laughed. Mostly because Poster Boys doesn’t get out of ‘the Deol family fan club’ zone even when the jokes run dry.
It’s occasionally funny, but never actually engrosses the audiences. You keep waiting for another joke, but they tell you the same joke five times before coming up with a new one.
One character stands out even in this chaos. Ashwini Kalsekar (Munni of Golmaal) displays superb timing as a disinterested doctor. She is definitely underrated.
It’s silly humour, but there’s no pretension. The two Deols and Talpade resort to crass comedy at times, but I am willing to give them this much leverage. I think Poster Boys can make you laugh with its stupid puns. Ah, the guilty pleasure of laughing on Sunny Deol’s pouty selfies! With 131-minute duration, Poster Boys shouldn’t be watched with a preoccupied mind.
Watch the Poster Boys trailer
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha