No Problem comes a cropper

Producers: Dr B K Modi, Anil Kapoor, Rajat Rawail.
Director: Anees Bazmee.
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangana Ranaut, Paresh Rawal.

MUMBAI: A comedy is generally woven around a simple theme loaded with gags, punches and funny situations. These gags, punches and rejoinders are then assigned to an assembly of talented actors known to have a funny streak. The theme here is corny enough; for lack of imagination it is the oft tried hunt for stolen diamonds coupled with two petty conmen on the run after looting a local village bank.

The film starts off as an action thriller with Suniel Shetty and his goons robbing a diamond bourse. When it comes to adding gags, repartees and farcical scenes, again it starts off well enough. However, when it comes to casting, the film falters.

Sanjay Dutt and Akshaye Khanna are petty thieves; Akshaye wants to turn a new leaf while Sanjay is always ready with a new criminal plan. As a habit, Sanjay Dutt loots Paresh Rawal’s newly formed bank on its inauguration day and, along with Akshaye Khanna, is on the run with Paresh Rawal on their trail that catches up with them eventually after a few funny encounters.

To repay his bank money, the three decide to steal from a minister with whom the diamonds stolen by Suniel Shetty have landed. The action shifts to a city (Durban in this case), which seems to have only one police inspector, a bumbling, goofing, Anil Kapoor.

So far so good; however, the gags and fun dry up as the film progresses. And, what you see here is nothing that you have not seen before. In fact, you may have seen most of these gags before and enjoyed them but what taper them down in No Problem is its actors.

The cast is a liability to a comedy entertainer where, except Paresh Rawal, though the others may have acted in a comedy film or two, none is known to carry such a film on his own; they just don’t have it in them. And, in this case, where the writing does not support them, they are totally at sea. Less said about the female actors the better; as after first time, Sushmita Sen’s gimmick of split personality wears off and Kangana Ranaut is around too, don’t know why!

Director Anees Bazmee catches up with the law of averages coming up with a sub standard fare this time. Writers give up after a few good scenes. Music is a relief not because it is good but only because it breaks the monotony of humourless comedy! The film is set in South Africa with an all Indian star cast as if South Africa was a satellite town of a metropolis like Navi Mumbai to Mumbai or Noida to Delhi. It just does not jell.

No Problem seems to count on its roaster rather than content; it comes a cropper.


Band Baaja Baaraat: Many things in one film


Producer: Aditya Chopra.
Director: Maneesh Sharma.
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh.

Band Baaja Baaraat is many things in one film: a love story, rags to riches story and a coming of age story.

The problem is the boy and the girl meet in typical Delhi style. A good for nothing boy, Ranveer Singh, completes his graduation and has no intentions of joining his family’s sugar farming business and has all the bad intentions for this girl, Anushka Sharma; while the girl is a balanced and wise student who aspires to be a wedding planner. There is no wooing of the girl and there are no villains which in turn takes away the very essentials from this love story.

A gatecrasher at a wedding as an assistant to a video cameraman, Ranveer Singh spots a wedding planner’s assistant, Anushka. For him she is just another girl he wants to score with.

On learning that she plans to be an independent wedding planner, he offers to be her partner if only to avoid going back to his farming family. Soon, both graduate from nukkad-gully weddings to high profile ones. After the success of their first such high profile wedding assignment, the celebrations lead to both ending up going beyond the barrier of friendship and partnership. While Anushka does it because she is giving in to love, for Ranveer, she realises, it was just a one off thing, a kaand, as he calls it.

While rags to riches are usually a sure shot formula, here the theme gets lost in the muddle that follows. Both fall apart, but are brought together through a contrived twist. The third angle in the girl’s life is a cell phone number called Chetan. That is when our hero realizes that his life was empty without Anushka. As is the routine, when someone else wants your girl, you want her more than him! All these happenings in the second half are childish in conception and exactly so in execution and the film loses whatever little ground it had gained during pre-interval stage.

The woes for Band Baaja Baaraat start with its ‘no face’ face value; Anushka Sharma is getting better with each film but has yet to register herself as a draw. Ranveer Singh is expressionless. The pair fails to create chemistry. There are no known faces in the supporting cast.

With a thin story line and predictable screenplay, there is little the director can do except execute his job copybook style. Music is purely ring tone variety and all the efforts of the choreographer do little to elevate it. Dialogue in brash Delhi twang is unappealing.

All said, Band Baaja Baaraat is a very mediocre film in all respects with nothing of merit to draw the audience.

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