The Losing Streaker

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ARUSH WALKS INTO A Macau casino looking like Celine Dion. The answer to why-the-long-face comes from chattering co-workers. Arush (Akshay Kumar) is so unlucky the casino pays him to turn up and touch the tables when anybody hits a winning streak. He’s been told that his luck will change when he marries the woman he loves, and so he proposes to Pooja (Malaika) who turns him down. To make sure you haven’t missed the film’s major conceit because your attention span is only 30 seconds long, Arush runs after the disappearing Pooja, bumps into somebody, recoils into the path of a road-crew, gets biffed in the jewels by a shovel, gets his behind set on fire, steals ice-cream out of a child’s hand to put out this fire, gets punched in the face, falls into a concrete mixer, tumbles out, causes two car crashes and eventually catches up with Pooja only to have her brother knock him out. He leaves for London where bum-chum Bob (Riteish Deshmukh) and Heetal (Lara Dutta) live, but his hurt will go on and on.

In London, he eventually marries Devika (Jiah Khan). The wife departs on the first day of their honeymoon in Italy because she loves another, and Arush wades out to sea to die after a Mister God conversation. A lady in a swimsuit (Deepika Padukone) rescues him. Arush returns to London with new love Sandy, where the impending visits of Heetal’s father (Boman Irani) and Sandy’s brother (Arjun Rampal), and all the lies they’ve told compel the gang to hire a huge house and sustain elaborate pretences. A Buckingham Palace ceremony is when this tissue of lies unravels.

There are genuinely funny bits — Boman Irani bellows compliments about the embroidery at Buckingham Palace, and a vacuum cleaner takes a shine to Riteish Deshmukh’s ass — but these are the exceptions in a film which tries too hard to pass off threadbare borrowings from all over as original. The script is so busy with comic incident that after a point you begin to wonder if the term ‘gag reflex’ came out of comedy rather than somewhere else. Not entirely unwatchable, and that’s the kindest thing one can say.

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