`Paying Guests` - of a house hunt
and impersonation (IANS Preview)
New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) After weeks of lull at the box-office due to the grim stand-off between the producers and multiplexes, filmmaker Shubhash Ghai hopes to bring in a dash of humour with his slapstick comedy Paying Guests releasing Friday.
Written and directed by debutant Paritosh
Painter, the film hopes to attract footfalls after the failure of Vashu
Bhagnani`s Kal Kissne Dekha in the first week (June 12) after the
The film stars Shreyas Talpade, Ashish Chaudhary, Celina Jaitley, Neha Dhupia, Riya Sen, Vatsal Seth, Jaaved Jaaferi and Sayali Bhagat.
The story revolves around four men in Bangkok who need a home to stay.
In their search for an accomodation, they come across Ballu (Johnny Lever) who agrees to keep them as paying guests. But his condition is that he will keep only couples - so Jaaved and Shreyas decide to dress as women.
The story revolves around four friends in Bangkok who need a house and end up living as couples, with me and Shreyas as women, Jaaved told IANS.
I understand the body language of women very well. I know their mannerisms; so, it`s not so difficult for me... it wasn`t anything new for me. It came kind of easy to me, he added.
While playing a woman came easy to Javed, it took a toll on Shreyas, who had to undergo waxing - the painstaking hair removing process.
Getting waxed for the role was a torture for me. It was like being in a delivery room. I was yelling like a mad dog while I was getting waxed. Even my wife Deepti got scared. She was with me when it was being done... it literally made me shriek like anything, said Shreyas.
Sayali who plays Jaaved`s lady love in the film was on the other hand all praise for Ghai.
It is a dream for every actor to work with Subhash Ghai and my dream was realised through this film. He is a wonderful person and has the ability to make all his actors feel very comfortable. He is a fantastic mentor and I got a lot of guidance from him, she said.
With music from composers Sajid-Wajid, the film also marks the debut of Wajid as a lyricist - for the Indian version of nursery rhyme Jack & Jill. He has also lent his voice for the title track of the film.
What can we say about a comedy where the main characters get inspired watching Riteish Deshmukh`s drag act in Apna Sapna Money Money?
Tearing a (b)lousy chapter from that black-sheepish comedy (remember the song `Dekha jo tujhe yaar dil mein baji guitar?`) Javed Jaffrey and Shreyas Talpade get into desi(Talpade) and blonde (Jaffrey) drag acts, leaving you thinking when was the last time a drag act dragged its act so far-out?
To his credit, Shreyas as Karisma to Javed`s Kareena are a laugh riot in parts, whenever the oily script pauses long enough to give us a non-greasy passage of humour.
Filled with double meanings that are meaningless passwords for mindless meanderings, the main plot is about four lately unemployed men - two of whom get into a drag act to get accommodation in the home of a kindly couple (Johhny Lever and Delnaz Paul) - who are as devoid of intelligence as most of the writing in this film.
The Bangkok setting doesn`t help. Most of the way the characters clutter the canvas so much the scenic view is blocked out. Never mind.
The thing about these prevalent boys-will-have-fun comedies is that the boys seem to have all the fun while the girls just hang on to the lapels of the comedy hoping there is a life after the laughter.
Beyond the loud, lewd laughter of characters who want to convince themselves that being on the ticklish track pays, Paying Guests has little to offer except tired jokes about oranges and other suggestive props that, alas, cannot prop up the creaking sagging props.
In the plus side, Javed and Shreyas are perky in their drag act. Shreyas, who has been in fine comic form recently in the wonderful Welcome To Sajjanpur and the far(ce)-from-wonderful Gol Maal Returns, provides a sparkling wit to the proceedings often going beyond the sweltering standards set by the stale satire.
Shreyas deserves better. The other actors are in-sync with the sinking feeling of the comedy. As is the custom in these air-headed comedies, the canvas is crowded with clamorous characters dressed in an assorted variety of skin-tight clothes and loose wigs that come off at the whoosh of the wind in this wimpy comedy.
The climax air-lifted from Kundan Shah`s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron has all the 37(or is it 38?) characters, including a fierce don played by the almost-forgotten Inder Kumar who just can`t get beyond the scowl, colliding all over a staging of Mughal-e-Azam.
Moan gaye Mughal-e-Azam.
The dialogues (Lawrence John) plumb such depths of toilet graffiti as I hope we don`t blow this job.
The makers of this wunder-kid-me-not haven`t quite blown the job. This prolonged drag act about two men dressed as Karisma and Kareena manages to remain inoffensive for a while. But the Kapoor sisters have nothing to feel flattered about.