Pagalpanti Review (SPOILERS): A Series of Comic Set Pieces of Varying Quality

Well, this was a silly silly movie! I feel kind of silly putting up a “spoiler” review, because it is hardly worth spoiling. But what the heck, might as well.

Whole “plot” in two paragraphs:

John Abraham is cursed to bring bad luck to everyone around him according to his horoscope, as explained in an opening sequence when Pulkit Simrat and Arshad Warsi’s parents bring their priest to bless the fireworks shop Pulkit and Arshad are opening with John. The shop blows up, and they are pennyless. John romances Ileana to get money from her to start another business, a transport company, which leads them to meet gangsters Saurabh Shukla and Anil Kapoor when they deliver a birthday present for their daughter/niece Kriti Kharbanda. The present is damaged, Saurabh and Anil make the three work for them to work off the debt, Pulkit romances Kriti. Anil and Saurabh borrow a lot of money from Inaamulhaq, John and Pulkit and Arshad accidentally burn it up. Anil sends them with the last bit of money to place a bet on their horse, the three boys meet up with Ileana and her uncle again at the track, and place a bet on the wrong horse and lose. They decide to run away and hide from Anil and Saurabh in a circus dressed as clowns. Ileana and her uncle track them down again, and Pulkit calls Kriti to come to them (because he is sincerely in love). The 6 of them take off cross country and end up forced to spend the night in a house haunted by Urvashi Rautela. The next morning, they sneak back into the house and realize the haunting is fake, Urvashi is an actress hired for mysterious reasons. Back home, Anil and Saurabh are being threatened by Inaamulhaq to return his money and are desperate. And then the boys return, rich, to solve all their problems. They buy all of Inaamulhaq’s property from him, using Anil and Saurabh as brokers. And then Inaamulhaq goes to his secret money cache, hidden under the fake “haunted” house, to discover all the money is gone. John found the money, took just enough to buy his properties and then, once they owned everything he had, took all the money. Anil and Saurabh are threatened again, Anil takes off to find the boys and get the money. But then they give him a big speech about how Inaamulhaq stole the money to begin with from the bank of India and, as patriots, they took all the money and are returning it to India. It all culminates in a big silly shoot out that ends with the Indian government showing up to take the money back.

Image result for pagalpanti

This should really be another Welcome movie. The Welcome series has a simple central idea, Anil Kapoor and his brother/friend are both gangsters in London. They have a sister/daughter/niece that they have to marry off. A suitor appears, hilarity ensues. There’s a group of evil gangsters to put on more pressure, lots of great songs, and usually an item girl who has a surprisingly good role. But Welcome Back was a flop, so now they are trying to start fresh with something called “Pagalpanti” instead.

Anil is wonderful as a silly gangster. Saurabh Shukla is just as good. Kriti is surprisingly hilarious as the ditzy spoiled daughter (there’s a moment when her uncles are threatening whoever wrote her a love letter and she reads it out loud with this proud happy smile at what a great love letter it is and no awareness of what is happening around her). Pulkit Simrat is terrible and boring and strange. Arshad Warsi is effortlessly funny. And John smiles and looks goofy a lot. But now that I think about it, it’s the women who really stand out. Ileana is great as the woman who is trying to track them down, but still a little bit under the sexual sway of John. Kriti is amazing. And when she shows up, Urvashi Rautela is pretty great too! She’s mostly used as a sexy person, but she’s got some good reaction shots, and she manages that slightly overly sexy touch that turns it from sexy to funny.

That’s what the film is structured for, to let everyone shine and have their moment to be just straight up hilarious. That is far more important than “plot”. They had an idea for a spoof of ghost movies, they had an idea for a spoof of food tasters (the first job Pulkit and Arshad have working for Saurabh and Anil), they had an idea for a hospital spoof (Saurabh and Anil try to buy time by pretending Saurabh is dying), they had an idea for a race course spoof, and they just strung it all together and through in the actors who could make those parts work best, and then tied it up with a big silly action scene at the start and the end and called it a day.

And why not? Movies are here to entertain us, to make us laugh. This movie did that. So it doesn’t have a tight clear narrative, so the characters are types with no depth, so there is no real emotion to it, so what? It’s funny! It’s fun! It’s sexy, and colorful, and someone makes fun of how John spends all his time at the gym and when Saurabh and Anil lose all their money, Saurabh’s horse head cane is replaced with a donkey head one. Because they don’t have enough money for a horse any more. How can you not like a movie like this?


2 thoughts on “Pagalpanti Review (SPOILERS): A Series of Comic Set Pieces of Varying Quality

    • That is strange! I’d say “keep reading” but I’m not sure what depressed you to begin with so I don’t know if it would cheer you up to finish or not.

      On Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 1:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.