‘Chashme Baddoor’ review: One hell of a laugh riot!

Ananya Bhattacharya

Arz kia hai… Thus begins David Dhawan’s modern day tale of friendship, romance and kaminapanti. Repartees, wittiness, caustic one-liners. ‘Chashme Baddoor’, this time around, is one hell of a journey!

If Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval’s love story back in the 1980s could have gained the status of a cult, Ali Zafar and Taapsee Pannu’s is not very far behind on that ladder. The three friends – Jai (Siddharth Narayan), Sid (Ali Zafar) and Omi (Divyendu Sharma) – are college-going youngsters and barring the innocent Sid, are all been-there-done-thats in their respective fields. While Omi revels in making cheesy poetry out of everyday happenings, Jai dreams of being cast as an actor someday – just that he doesn’t know where to draw the line.

The three friends live for each other, on food from Mr. Joseph’s (Rishi Kapoor) cafeteria and in Ms. Josephine’s (Lilette Dubey) house as tenants – on credit. When Seema (Taapsee Pannu) zooms into their neighbourhood on a scooty, Jai and Omi begin dreaming their own dreams of winning her heart. In this tussle between friends and hearts, the seedha-sadha Sid falls in love with Seema. A madcap ride ensues involving the age-old debate between whether men in uniform are better than civilians or the other way round. There are tragedies to be taken note of – just that they too come packed in hilarious covers! For example, during a seemingly intense emotion-driven scene when Jai and Omi confess their mischief in front of Sid and forget to wipe a wayward tear, the latter asks them to stop by saying that they look really bad while crying!

Ali Zafar as the slow and steady lover deserves a hearty pat on the back for his performance. His Sid might not move you to tears – and the film is not meant to do so – but can definitely make you emotional for a wee bit – even in a David Dhawan comedy. Newbie Taapsee Pannu, gifted with a fresh face, comes across as a pleasant gust of air. She is miles away from the Shastriya Sangeet-trainee, ‘Chamko’ washing powder-selling Neha that Deepti Naval had brought to life in the original, but is lovable in her own special way. With interludes of ‘Dum hai boss!’ that Seema packs her vocabulary with, she is someone one would take an instant liking to.

Siddharth steps into the shoes of the over-the-top, overacting filmy, Jai with exceptional ease. As an actor, Siddharth has grown over the course of his films, and with every passing one is transforming into a star. From the brooding Karan Singhania of ‘Rang De Basanti’ to this insane Jai, the actor is getting better each day. Divyendu Sharma, whose first outing in ‘Pyar Ka Punchnama’ had created tornadoes in the hearts of viewers, has once again proved his mettle with this Omi. He is brilliant as this new age shayar who has an Arz kia hai... down his tongue at every drop of the eyelid. His dialogues are laced with equal amounts of wit and humour and Sharma doesn’t disappoint even for a moment.

The supporting cast consisting of Rishi Kapoor, Lilette Dubey, Anupam Kher and Bharti Achrekar is fabulous and Kapoor deserves brownie points for his tap dance! Rishi Kapoor, who flaunts his tattoos and twisted proverbs at every juncture, woos Dubey with aplomb – the two make for a beautiful couple and are competition to each other in every frame. A double dose of the comical Anupam Kher, symbolising the military and civilian brothers are hilarious to say the least. Bharti Achrekar as the animated mother brilliantly matches up to Kher.

David Dhawan’s version of ‘Chashme Baddoor’ sure takes inspiration from the original, but goes light on the serious parts of the first one. Here, tragedy is dealt with in a comical manner, moulding the film into a veritable laugh riot. Sajid-Farhad’s dialogues are extremely laudable and every single moment in the film boasts of an underlying punch. Sai Paranjpye, who had scripted the original ‘Chashme Baddoor’, has made sure this one too is not one to be ignored.

All said and done the inevitable comparison with the first ‘Chashme Baddoor’ does creep in. If that got elevated to the pedestal of a cult, this one might reach somewhere near that – but would not be able to topple it. Guess that comes as a by-product of being the second born! Yet, Dhawan going easy on the slapstick, exaggerated comedy that he so enjoys portraying on celluloid comes as a huge boon for the senses, making the film utterly watchable.

Sajid-Wajid’s music is catchy and situation-driven mostly. However, maybe the film could have done with a few less numbers. Sonu Nigam, Wajid, Ali Zafar and Shreya Ghoshal have all engendered songs that are sure to be remembered for their freshness.

In Hindi cinema, there is a reason David Dhawan enjoys the epithet of the King of Comedy – and from the King’s treasure chest, the film is a gem. Three stars for the re-loaded ‘Chashme Baddoor’ – not to be missed, this one!