Mr Ya Miss

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 05, 2005 07:06 hrs

Starring Antara Mali, Aftab Shivdasani, Riteish Deshmukh, Bharat Dabholkar, Divya Dutta.

Directed by Antara Malik & Satchik Puranik.

Rating: * œ

You know that joke which goes on too long…and the punch-line become a paunch-line?

That comedy of arrears is here! On paper this sounds like a fine idea….An incorrigible skirtchaser (Aftab Shivdasani, doing a mixture of Jim Carrey and Hrithik Roshan) is bumped off by a bunch of two-timed girl-friends, goes to heaven where Shiva (Ajinkya Deo) and Parvati (VarshaUsgaonkar) decide to send him back as a woman…to get a taste of his own medicine.

So far so good. The co-directors give the initial flirt the with gender-bender a delicious enough twist. The scenes where Sanjay wakes up as Sanjana are a howl. Antara Mali putting her hand in her pants to find something amiss or peeping into her shirt to discover overnight developments are moments of muffled mirth. But how long can you laugh a man's struggle to come to terms with his changed sex?

After a while you wonder where the one-line joke is heading. Antara Mali's over-the-top attempts to act like a man who wakes up to discover he is a woman are certainly a new way to interpret the sexual conundrum.

Antara has been stretching the parameters of commercial acting in Road, Naach and now this film where she lets it all hang out when you wish she would hold back just that much to create a decent distance between the character and the audience. In the absence of that distance we are constantly weighed down by her exhausting efforts to get noticed.

The tagged message that women are not to be commodified by male attention, is initially supported by some deft editing and a spunky music score by Amar Mohile. Soon the script and the characters run out of tricks …And we are left looking at a gender-reversed plot that needs to get its act together…desperately.

The narrative should have ended by intermission. The courtroom sequences that follow are so wheezy, you feel like the Sanjay turned into Sanjana suffocated in women's lingerie.

The gags are repetitive and the plot dies a noisy death. The performances are straight-on dramatic. Only Riteish Deshmukh as Sanjay's buddy and Sanjana's lover tries to look at the situation with sensible eyes.

He's not really in-sync with the rowdy rhythms of this film which makes you want to be neither man nor woman. Just somewhere else.

More from Sify: