The ApunKaChoice movie review of Tees Maar Khan. ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ is fun, but ‘Tawaif ki luti izzat’ overdone. Likewise, director Farah Khan’s third baby Tees Maar Khan is a joke stretched too far, with she poking fun at all and sundry from Hollywood to apna Bollywood, be it Manoj Day Ramalan shooting a jingoistic Brit-bashing period piece in rural Dhulia, or an Oscar-obsessed actor Aatish Kapoor (Akshaye Khanna) ruing his missed chance to work with Danny Doyle in Dumbdog. And ah! there’s also Chunky Pandey in chaddi dancing to the raunchy cameo ‘Choli mein Holi’.
If you haven’t got the drift yet, let’s take the lid off this part-funny-part-frustrating piece of campiness which is clearly the remake of the 1966 Italian clunker ‘After The Fox’ (starring the inimitable Peter Sellers), but quite absurdly credits Farah’s hubby and the film’s editor Shirish Kunder for writing the story.
Tabrez Mirza Khan aka Tees Maar Khan (Akshay Kumar) is a most wanted con man. With his sheer cunning or the stupidity of his captors, he slips out from the police net every time he’s nabbed. He’s got three bumbling sidekicks and a beautiful girlfriend Anya (Katrina Kaif) who’s a small time item girl with the dream of becoming a big star and even work with mega star Aatish Kapoor (Akshaye Khanna).
Tabrez takes the seemingly impossible task of looting 10,000 kgs of antique items from a train. He hits upon an idea. Pretending as the director named Manoj Day Ramalan, he ropes in Aatish for a patriotic film whose plot centres on looting a train full of British antique goodies. The shooting is done in Dhulia, from where the train passes, and the whole village offers to assist in the shoot, and the loot.
It’s a great plot to be spun into a masala Bollywood fare, and Farah Khan, the undisputed diva of farce, gets it spot on in the first half. Her aim, like it has always been as a director, is to provide non-stop, side-splitting entertainment, through any and every brand of humour - crass, ribald, or plain tongue-in-cheek - while caring not a hoot for cinematic sense and sensibility. Logic be damned! It’s the flair with which the gags are unleashed that matters. And the humour, though not of the thigh-slapper potency, does work in the first half. But as the post-intermission reels are unspooled, the pace slackens and the viewers break into a collective fit of yawns.
The story comes to a grinding halt which neither Akshay nor his namesake Akshaye, despite their heft at humour, are able to break out of. So they are made to do silly things like rob a bank or a chase a headless horseman (from Sleepy Hollow) while a simpering Katrina dabs her face with layers and layers of make-up. And oh! she also has a Marilyn Monroe moment where a gust of wind sends her skirt flying upward. Thankfully, Yana Gupta wasn’t cast in the role.