Delhi: small-time thief Satbir (Deepak Dobriyal) wants to mend his ways and start life anew. He starts random work— assisting a realtor and wearing a giant samosa around the Delhi metro as a walking advert.
He meets innocent (no, “innocent jaisi”) Neena played by Priya Bathija. He falls for her instantly. Why a romance track between a small-time criminal and a middle-class working girl would make sense is not explained. It needed to be explained, because they are in completely different leagues and it’s not an everyday occurrence.
Anyhow, he goes semi-creepy and follows her around in his giant samosa costume. One such day he catches an old accomplice steal her bag. He gets it back and they become friends (and naturally it’s the perfect ploy for the unlikely romance, Bollywood style).
There’s a twist in the tale, however, and just when you think this film might be more subversive than you imagined, it crashes your hopes.
In comes a kidnapping, a reality show put together just like that, a TV channel owner who’s super-encouraging and immediately impressed, a hideous song with a line that would translate as ‘Let me close the lips that are abusing me, with a kiss’. (Delhi’s pests now have a new anthem, I guess.)
The dependably good Deepak Dobriyal (Not A Love Story, Tanu Weds Manu) is the saving grace, but he too is out of sorts in some places (like that song). Debutante Priya Bathija is fairly good.
Save a few other good performances from the ensemble, the acting is mostly mediocre. Dialogue is spoken in an unnatural, staccato manner where one character waits for the other to speak, pauses, and then starts their own dialogue.
The pace is perplexingly slow, especially in the first half. While most films have the second half as their undoing, this one comes to life post-intermission, making up for the vapid first half.
Director K Rajesh’s probably attempted to make a crime-comedy that flits between slapstick and satire. The central idea had potential but the execution isn’t up to the mark. The conversations sound false and often insinuate Delhi-isms for effect. Like Satbir hitting on a girl he’s only met with a, ‘Badi jolly nature hai aapki’. Or the bad guy bringing in a Haryanavi ‘baawda ho gaya hai’ in every other dialogue.
There are a few stray moments that crack you up. Like the kidnapper finding an innovative way to extract ransom from the exceptionally crafty victim. And the inspector who treats this group of thieves as talented artists and not criminals.
Perhaps filmmakers should now realize that the audience is fed up of cutesy criminals based in Delhi and speaking in its unique twang.
This film could have been a fun one, but is weighed down by its pace and affected style. Watch it only if you must.
Rating: Two stars