An Indecent Proposal

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Batul Mukhtiar

 

FILM : TOH BAAT PAKKI
DIRECTOR : KEDAR SHINDE
STARRING : TABBU, SHARMAN JOSHI, AYUB KHAN, YUVIKA CHAUDHARY, VATSAL SETH
RATING : * * * * *

‘TOH BAAT PAKKI’ has two cameramen. One shoots the scenes, the other the songs. The scenes are shot like television serials. The songs are shot like music videos, with both heroes, Sharman and Vatsal at various locations, with hands in their pockets — oh, for a cigarette or a pipe, a cane or a gun, their hands seem to say.

Both heroes are potential grooms for the film’s lacklustre heroine Nisha (Yuvika Chaudhary) who can just about stand up straight before the camera and simper. One (Sharman) can act; the other (Vatsal) makes his way through with endless references to his good looks

Tabu’s Rajeshwari is an interesting character in her unabashed malice and greed, but she too seems unusually restrained and painfully thin. While one loves her chiselled face, one misses the thunder thighs of yesteryear. Rajeshwari is the dutiful daughter who negates her feminism with the decision to auction her sister’s future to the ‘best man’ available — measured by wealth and status.

Ayub Khan’s role as her husband is merely to assent, and Khan seems resigned to the fate of playing second fiddle. The sole moment of the film features Ayub driving his vintage car, while Tabu and family walk beside him, swinging their hands together, after a dinner out.

Palanpur and Jaunpur, full of Punjabi Saxenas seem for some reason to be located in south India. Tabu and Khan are middle-class, but live in a mansion. The paanwala has a shop big enough to be a canteen. The bevy of gossiping ladies introduced at the beginning seemed briefly promising — but hope waned as the narrative concentrated on Tabu alone. The music is awful — the kind that makes one want to take a pee-break. Pritam needs to stop working with Punjabi beats, costume designers need to give wedding sherwanis a rest, scriptwriters need to come up with more intriguing characters than helpful Rahuls, who woo their girl’s families by helping them with wedding preparations. Yawn inducing and pointless. You could stay at home and watch television instead.

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