Two movie weekend! Secret Superstar Friday night, Golmaal Saturday afternoon. And it was So Much Fun!!!! Not a great movie, not by any means, but a very fun silly movie. I liked it, the two young men sitting behind me liked it, the big family sitting in front of me liked it, and the little boy of the family really really liked it.
I have seen a Golmaal movie before, Golmaal Returns I think. So I know the general mood of them. Our characters all have one distinctive feature, a lisp or a specific fear or just being mute (Tusshar Kapoor). Some crazy complication occurs, the plot plays out in a series of comic set pieces, and then it all ends happily.
And they are Rohit Shetty movies, so there’s a lot of stuff with cars and other vehicles, and a ton of color correction, and some really pretty moments of CGI. Plus songs, which are scattered at unpredictable intervals. Oh, and jokes related to other films. Although that’s just Indian film comedy, almost all of it involves references to other films.
Ajay Devgn is the heart of the films, which is kind of odd since he isn’t necessarily the strongest comic actor. But he isn’t supposed to be the strongest comic actor, he is the straight man, and the sincere one, and the one with real problems. You need someone like that in a comedy film, to kind of tie stuff together. And Ajay knows exactly how to play the role, in movie 4.
Really, everyone knows what they are doing here, which is kind of reassuring. There’ve been a lot of experimental type films lately, trying something completely new. And there’ve been a fair number of just plain lazy films, people didn’t even bother to try to live up to their previous standards (Tubelight, I am looking at you). It’s nice to see something where it all works just right, everyone knows their jobs and does them to the best of their abilities, and everyone looks like they are having a good time.
I was most curious about the two female cast members, Tabu and Parineeti. Especially since it is Tabu’s semi-return to Hindi film, and Parineeti turned down Judwaa 2 for this. And they were right to take these roles! Yes, it’s an ensemble piece, but within those restrictions, they both have good big juicy roles. Much bigger than the standard heroine role, especially what Parineeti would have been doing in Judwaa 2.
Tabu actually gets to start the film, and most of it is told from her perspective. Meanwhile, Parineeti turns out to be the most significant character of the film, certainly the one with the biggest emotional journey. And in addition, they get to be part of the fun! That is the worst part of female characters in comedies, too often they get shoved out of the hijinks, forced into playing the judgemental “grown-ups” instead of getting dirty and having fun with the kids. Not here! There are a few wacky action scenes with minimal involvement from them, but pretty soon they are brought in as new members of the “gang”.
And it’s such a big gang! Ajay, Kunal Khemu, Tusshar Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, and Shreyas Talpade are the central group of 5. Then there’s Tabu and Parineeti. And not done yet! Prakash Raj and Neil Nitin Mukesh stop by, and so do Johnny Lever, and Mukesh Tiwari, and Sanjay Mishra. And Murali Sharma as a cop. Well, that goes without saying, he is almost always a cop.
There’s just something about a multi-starrer. It feels full, somehow. And it feels like a party, like everyone is having a good time and enjoying spending this time together. We never have fewer than 2 big names on screen, and most of the time it’s upwards of 5. It’s a party, but it’s also kind of a family reunion feel, for the audience. All of these faces are familiar from years gone by, some of them we’ve even watched grow up (Kunal Khemu). I can see why the large family in front of me chose to see this movie, and why they had such a good time.
I can also see why this was the immediate big opening of the holiday weekend. Like Mubarakan earlier this year, it is a big happy silly film, no pretense of being anything more. The industry has been heading more and more in a “serious” direction in recent years, there has been a call for “adult” films, “thoughtful” films, and so on and so on. And sure, they do well at the multiplex and overseas. But there is a limit to those audiences, they are likely to drift away and keep searching for new challenges. Golmaal, this is for the old familiar audience, the ones who know exactly what they want and are waiting for someone to give it to them.
(A Sholay joke wrapped in a Golmaal series joke! This is for a very familiar audience.0