PATI, PATNI AUR WOE
Rajpal Yadav takes centrestage in a painful comedy about husbands and wives.
FEB 3, 2008 – MOST TIMES, IT’S A CHARMED LIFE, that of a critic. You get to catch up on all the latest releases, the ones that your poor friends are struggling to make time for between balancing homelife and career. You get to answer lunchtime questions such as “What are you doing later this afternoon?” with “Oh, you know, watching the new Hrithik-Aishwarya starrer,” when the person next to you is likely to confess, “Well, there’s a staff meeting for which I’ve got to make a PowerPoint presentation. Got to run now. Bye.” So I guess it was only a matter of time before the tables turned. As is the ritual, I was asked what the film to be reviewed this week was, and when I replied Rama Rama Kya Hai Dramaaa, I could sense the voice at the other end change in inflection from borderline envy to barely-concealed glee. Had my life been an animated film strip, it appeared that this would be the point where I’d be surrounded by my near and dear, standing with arms akimbo, throwing their heads back and letting loose demonic peals of laughter. And then they asked who was in it and I said Rati Agnihotri and Anupam Kher and Rajpal Yadav and Razzak Khan, and the resultant doubling over and clutching of stomachs and pounding of tables with the other palm left me in no doubt that schadenfreude was alive and kicking in the world.
It’s not just me. I don’t think anyone was happy walking into the theatre screening Chandrakant Singh’s Rama Rama Kya Hai Dramaaa. As I seated myself, there was barely a handful of people, but then the lights went down and the seats started filling up. The logical way to look at this would be that they tried their darnedest to sneak into one of the other films in the multiplex, but when that wasn’t looking likely, they decided not to waste the evening and got tickets for this at the last minute and walked in late. But watching this disaster unfold, it appeared there may be another explanation: maybe they were simply too embarrassed to be caught walking in, which is why they preferred to make an entrance in the dark, heads lowered, scarves and sunglasses in place. After all, who’d want to be seen watching Rajpal Yadav play a husband who, after a spat with wife Neha Dhupia, begins to imagine other people’s wives as his own? This is one of those films where we’re meant to be entertained while being edified about the institution of marriage, what with gems like “Patniyan ghar ko swarg banati hain… aur pati ko swargwasi,” and “Pati ghoda hota hai… us pe lagaam daalna chahiye.” In between these lines extolling husbands as horses and wives as the ones who drive their men to their deaths, Sanjay Mishra chimes in with malapropisms, substituting “bloody fool” for “beautiful” and “toilet” for “tolerate.” I guess he’d call this film “terrific” – for “terrible.”
Copyright ©2008 The New Sunday Express. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.