Guest In London': Paresh Rawal
brings a woozy sparkle (Review By Subhash K Jha, Rating: ***1/2)
First things first. The most welcome thing about this tragic-comedy
about unwelcome guests is Paresh Rawal, an actor of myriad means who
has lately strayed into politics. Seeing him back, doing what he's most
comfortable doing, it is crystal-clear that the actor is most at home
doing what he was born to.
Could he please stop being a neta and return to being a full-time
Paresh and the neglected Tanve Azmi put in spirited sometimes
boisterous, sometimes subdued but never uneven performance as an
over-friendly Punjabi couple who insist on inflicting their scorching
overbearing warmth on a young couple with commitment issues in London,
played by the affable Kartik Aryan and Kriti Kharbanda (both need to be
seen more often), who have no choice but to bear with the unwanted
guests' intrusive presence in their home and with farting.
For some strange reason the script, otherwise devilishly deft in the
way it blends bacchanalia and backchat with somewhat serious issues, is
obsessed with flatulence. Rawal's character speaks about and indulges
in it constantly and there is a lengthy mushaira session over whiskey
and pakodas where the theme is fart.
This fetish for flatulence destroys much of the film's otherwise
well-intended potshots at contemporary relationships which tend to be
weighed down by the stress of staying afloat. There is a touching
interlude where the oldest neighbour (the veteran Vishwa Mohan Badola)
in suburban London passes away and his sons have no time for his
Or when Kartik Narayan's slimy boss hits on a hapless Chinese employee,
Paresh intervenes firmly. It's a sequence done with conviction, though
tiresomely lengthy and repetitive.
Yup, Rawal knows how to hold a scene together even if it(the scene)
overstays its welcome. And young Kartik and Kriti stand up well to his
histrionic binging. On the other hand, the ever-dependable Sanjai
Mishra is curiously out of sorts as a Pakistani neighbour. There are
some cringe-worthy racist jibes about skin colour, India-Pakistan
relations and Chinese dominion and a distastefully long and painful
sequence involving a mistaken case of infant abuse that could have been
But there is more to like than hate in the awfully titled "Guest In
London" (who would want to a comedy with such an insipid title?). Let
me tell you, it's not easy to generate sustained laughter without
offending any individual or community. Writer-director Dheer succeeds
in doing so to a large extent. There are frequent flings with farce in
the plot that yield some solid laughs.
Cinematographer Sudhir.K. Chaudhary captures London in a sweet obvious
way that gels with the film's de-intellectualised tone.
If you've seen the prequel to this comedy of 'bin bulaaye mehmaan' you
would know exactly what to expect. Paresh Rawal steps into the same
role with an infectious sometimes-overdone gusto that fits into the
scream' of things. And Tanve Azmi as his better-half adds considerably
to Rawal's punchy performance. Together the couple is a laugh riot,
whenever the writing permits.
While some of jokes work swimmingly for example Rawal's entry gag where
he brings an entire organization to a standstill while escorting his
wife up the elevator, other gags simply apart. Much like the guests who
overstay their welcome, come of the jokes also go on for too long. As
writer-director Ashwni Dheer's roots are in television several plot
point read like episodes from a television sitcom.
What stays with us beyond the bustle of humorous confederation is the
message that we need to respect personal space, but not at the cost of