Movie Review: 'Nautanki Saala!' is amusing but no laugh riot
'Nautanki Saala!' is a slow, sedate brom-com
By Nikhil Kumar
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 15:30:43 GMT
The ApunKaChoice movie review of Nautanki Saala! For those still reeling from the cannonade of kitschy comedy Bollywood has liberally churned out in the last two weeks, Nautanki Saala! comes not as another naked roll on the nailbed of silly slapstick, but a soothing, sedating, gentle salving, with the momentary relief of Betadine on a bruised butt.
Okay, I’ll make it simpler. We know what Himmatwala has done to a lot of fans. It needs a Nautanki Saala! -- far from perfect though it is -- to restore some sense of sanity and to rekindle our faith in the Bollywood fun factory. The film isn’t a laugh riot with side-splitting humour, but a soft rib-tickler that will at most give you amused chuckles and grins. It’s definitely not the LMAO brand of comedy.
A remake of Pierre Salvadori’s French film Apres Vous, Nautanki Saala! adapts the brom-com of a Parisian restaurant to the milieu of south Mumbai.
Ram Parmar (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a theatre actor who one day rescues Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) from a suicide bid and takes him under his wing. Mandar is a rank loser in life. He flunked his high school, is jobless, jilted in love and even a failure in committing suicide. His real heartache is his love Nandini (Pooja Salvi) who dumped him for reasons not hard to see.
Ram, who ironically plays Raavan in this theatre group, takes it upon himself to rehabilitate Mandar. He introduces him to theatre and also tries to patch him up with Nandini. Trouble begins when the girl falls for the matchmaker.
Director Rohan Sippy is clearly no votary of the excess. Not for him the loud, in-your-face gags, and though a setting like a theatre company doing a play called Raavanleela with a bumbling Ram (Kunaal Roy Kapur) could be a tempting premise for milking all the possible madcap situations into a gagfest, Sippy doesn’t overdo it.
And he gets ample support from his actors. Ayushmann Khurrana as a do-gooder who falls for the wrong girl is just so right for the role. He’s charming, convincing, at times funny, at times romantic. Opposite him Pooja Salvi is a tad ill at ease. She doubtlessly looks pretty but has no chemistry with her co-stars. Kunaal Roy Kapur, too, is suited for the role of an accident prone guy around whom the universe seems to conspire to bring him harm. At times, his goofy act falls flat and evokes no laughs, but it’s amusing nonetheless.
Gaelyn Mendonca as Ayushmann’s live-in girlfriend and Evelyn Sharma as Seeta in the play have miniscule roles and hardly get any scope.
With melodious soundtrack, eye-pleasing cinematography (Manoj Lobo) and an engaging love triangle at its centre, Nautanki Saala! keeps your interest from waning despite a slow and overlong second half.
The film’s not a riotous entertainer by any means, but worth a watch if you can derive fun out of this droll bromance.