The ApunKaChoice movie review of Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. Film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar’s maiden plunge into the rom-com genre is like a one-night stand gone wrong. One laps it up for the moment, let it play footsie, knock back a few shots of one’s favourite beverage, giggle at silly jokes, fidget through stretched conversations and boredom, just waiting impatiently for that one sought-after climactic moment that tragically never comes. What rather comes is the grogginess of the morning after and an itching for hair of the dog.
Seriously, it isn’t funny when you see a middle-aged Naren (Ajay Devgan), a divorcing 38-year-old bank manager coiffed and perfumed to appear younger, happily foisting himself as an oddball in a bunch of twenty-somethings just to woo the cutesy 21-year-old intern June Pinto (Shazahn Padamsee) he has a crush on.
Nor is it amusing to earhole Milind Kelkar’s (Omi Vaidya) inventive poetry. A true-blue romantic at heart and still a virgin at thirty, Milind falls for a brutally ambitious radio jockey Gungun (Shraddha Das) and spouts poetic gems like “usse dekhte hi ghantiya baji dil mein, woh bhi Dolby Digital sound mein.” Trump that, anyone!
Slightly amusing are the shenanigans of the playboyish Abhay (Emraan Hashmi), a blissfully out-of-job gym instructor who woos a millionaire and much-married former beauty queen Anushka (Tisca Chopra) for money and material comforts but ends up falling in love with her step daughter Nikki (Shruti Haasan). Juggling the mother-daughter duo like a jockey astride two mares, he goes to woo the social activist Nikki in one sequence and willy-nilly ends up on a cot, doing not what he wanted, but donating blood.
It’s these little funny crackles that make Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji worth sitting through once. The movie isn’t a laugh riot it might have been, but it has some engaging moments - like the one where Naren waits in the car outside his office to give a lift to June, but she is zipped away on the motorbike by a young dude. Or the ones where a thrifty Milind haggles with a flower-seller to put extra lilies and roses in the bouquet for his unloving premika Gungun. Or the one in which he reads the farewell letter from her.