Sex, Lies and VDO Tape

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Wayward plot, random characters and bad acting make Bittoo Boss a total loss, says Anuradha Menon

Bittoo Boss
Bittoo Boss

THERE’S A reason Bittoo Boss released on Friday the 13th. And, no, it’s not because of Baisakhi. It is truly horrific. If I said the best part was the credit roll, I’d be lying. The highlight was actually the trailer of Madagascar 3.

The protagonist Bittoo (surname unknown, much like Cher and Prince, with a similar flair for dress) is the finest “VDO shooter” in small-town Punjab. Essentially, he is to Anandpur what Yash Raj is to Switzerland. The shaadi doesn’t begin without Bittoo. He can get you a 25 percent discount at Cutie Beauty Parlour. He can turn Pammi and Goldie’s shaadi video into a magnum opus. He decides what outfits should be worn. He has 16 and 60-year-old women throwing themselves at him with poetic lines: “Meri nahi legi? Okay akele mein le le.” He can do anything. Except get rid of that strange mop top from the ’60s. Paul McCartney just called. He doesn’t want his hairstyle back!

Filmmakers need to understand that when Raj and Simran did it in DDLJ, it was adorable. When Bittoo and Mrinalini do it 17 years later, it’s just tragic

As Bittoo waxes eloquent on the art of a “sesky shot”, his ability to capture the “(s)pecial (e)motion” of nuptials, he is captivated by wedding attendee, Mrinalini. Bittoo decides to stalk Mrinalini under the guise of “frandship”. Mrinalini plays hard to get with bon mots like “Tum cute ho par mere type ke nahi!” But there’s something about the wrong kind of guy. Educated women love adorable “ganwars”. Oft-repeated clichés begin to unfold: the happy couple stop by the gurudwara and check out each other’s prayer postures instead of actually praying. Then they miss each other’s “palats”. But, of course. Filmmakers need to understand that when Raj and Simran did it in DDLJ, it was adorable. When Bittoo and Mrinalini do it 17 years later, it’s just tragic.

Really raising the stakes on stereotypes, the bad guys are a bunch of media moguls. Henna-haired carrot top goons who, I’m guessing, were inspired by Shaun Pollock’s hair colour. Stuck behind C-grade wigs and nasal voices.

Stills from the movie Bittoo Boss
Stills from the movie Bittoo Boss

When Bittoo says things like “paise se izzat nahi banti hai” and it’s pooh-poohed by show-me-the-money-honey Mrinalini, I wept with the pain of predictable plotlines. Now Bittoo decides in an alcoholic stupor that the only way he can make moolah is by filming and selling postmarital bliss: suhaag raat. Wouldn’t becoming an IPL VDO shooter been simpler?!

If Band Baaja Baaraat and Love Sex Aur Dhokhaproduced a really ugly kid, it’d be Bittoo Boss. After the intermission, arbitrary characters and bad acting flood the screen. I am convinced that during the second half, some gremlins attacked the director and took over the reins. India’s tour of England and Australia was more entertaining.

Things get so ludicrous that the film’s heroine must have begged the editors to keep her out of most scenes post-interval. As the producer’s daughter, Amita Pathak is surprisingly content in giving her acting school friend most of the screen time. Pulkit Samrat is likeable and incredibly earnest. And prettier than his heroine.

After much miscommunication and convolution and finally resolution Bittoo and his Bitti walk off into the sunset. I don’t know who shoots their wedding video.

A comedian and theatre artiste, Menon essays Lola Kutty on Channel [V]

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