There’s a new Bollywood blockbuster in town, and it’s set in Britain. The beautiful Lake District in Cumbria provides the backdrop for ‘Mr Bhatti on Chutti’, starring Anupam Kher, one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema.
‘Mr Bhatti on Chutti’ (which translates as ‘Mr Bhatti on Holiday’) tells the tale of a group of Indian tourists who visit the Lakes, but become mixed up in the saga of a missing British woman. As the search gets underway, a comedy of errors unfolds and lots of secrets are revealed. Anupam Kher plays Mr Bhatti – he’s also starred in Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice.
Karan Razdan`s much-awaited Mr. Bhatti on Chutti is an absolute no-no if you are on a chhutti (holiday) yourself! It neither entertains, nor boasts of any great histrionics.
With Anupam Kher in the lead role and a seemingly fun title, one is all geared to watch a great performance and have lots of laughs. But sadly, the film offers none of that.
From the word go, all that the viewer gets to see is buffoonery and contorted body movements, in which Anupam indulges unabashedly. And all in the name of humour!
BB Bhatti, manager, Dhanalaxmi Bank in Nalasopara and a part-time detective of my area. -- Mr. Bhatti (Anupam) mouths this introduction repeatedly, and with a peace plan tucked under his sleeve, he is on a quest seeking US President George Bush.
Unable to handle Bhatti`s idiosyncrasies, his boss Anjan Shivastav happily grants him leave. Mr. Bhatti is off on a free holiday, courtesy a prize he has won in a contest he never participated in.
From John Lennon Liverpool Airport, Bhatti is on a shaky note. His irritatingly queer and senseless behaviour infuriates his co-vacationers. But Bhatti continues undeterred. And to compound matters, there are mysterious innuendoes which lead us to a plot that has been layered with terrorism.
Apparently, Bhatti happens to be a look-alike of Abu Siddique, a wanted terrorist for the 2005 Britain bombings. Cajoled by his idol Amitabh Bachachan (Bhatti speaks to him on the phone) into helping the British police in trapping Abu Siddique, the innocent Bhatti gets caught in his own web.
The strength of this script is the plot, which seems to have become secondary to the character and thus loses its essence as the film progresses. Anupam`s forced grimacing and awkward body movements in a bid to evoke laughter, prove to be a tad annoying.
The seemingly uncalled for actions, trite humour, half-baked characters of another era, add to mediocrity and the boredom.
Veteran actors like Shakti Kapoor, Abid Ali are wasted and Pawan Shankar and Bhairavi Goswami are reduced to characters in suspended animation without a context or a proper storyline.
So is this film irredeemably awful? Believe you me, it is. It taxes your nerves and is a waste of time as the contrived attempt at humour is unpalatable. Even if you try hard, you cannot laud Anupam Kher`s performance.
Mr. Bhatti`s character is sweet and could have worked, but for want of better treatment by Razdan. He has clearly overstretched Anupam and let him lead the film instead. Result? All is lost.
Watch it and you will need another chutti! So opt for a holiday instead.