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Toh Baat Pakki review: Get on the Tabu bus!

Toh Baat Pakki review: Get on the Tabu bus!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 19 February 2010

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Movie Title

Toh Baat Pakki

Director

Kedarh Shinde

Star Cast

Tabu, Sharman Joshi, Yuvika Choudhary, Ayub Khan, Vatsal Sheth

You?d believe this writer?s word that Tabu is one of the industry?s best comedians, if you watched the film. So subtle and nuanced is her straight-faced humour, it?s immediately arresting.

Her character Rajeshwari is a Palanpur housewife and mom-of-two. She also looks after her widowed mother and takes up the responsibility of getting her younger sister married. She objects to her mother calling her the `beta? of the family, saying she?s the beti, it?s just that daughters are more caring and people don?t understand that.

In this sleepy town, getting married before you complete your BA, is of top priority. Which is why, city folk might find it odd that Rajeshwari (Tabu) is enticing her new tenant Rahul (Sharman Joshi) to think of marriage even before he can complete his engineering course. His idea of thinking of settling down after a stable job is pooh-poohed by her, even as she cunningly plays cupid between him and her sister Nisha (Uvika).

Now, Rajeshwari got him into the home for this sole purpose, and we can?t help laugh as this manipulative do-gooder gloats while watching the two together.

Her simple husband (Ayub Khan) cannot understand her shrewd ways and is happy to help when she asks. Trouble arises when another eligible bachelor (Vatsal Seth) with a pakki naukri and a bungalow, saunters in asking whether there?s a room available on rent.

Greed rears its head and Rajeshwari is seduced by the idea of her sister marrying into a more comfortable home. Not one to waste time, she immediately sets off a meeting with the new prospective groom?s mother, who is bowled over that Nisha has cooked the entire meal, is sanskari and teaches the locals in her free time. The marriage is fixed, but Rahul reappears on the scene. So ultimately, it?s a battle between two eligible grooms, the bride, and the elder sister running the entire show.

The film rests on Tabu?s shoulders; and indeed, the portions that entertain you, are all her scenes. Hers is a character that wants the best for her sister and doesn?t mind dumping one suitor for a better one for her sake. It?s a likeable good-hearted character, despite the propensity to conveniently lie, and manipulate situations. Tabu is an absolute delight, enacting her role with just that right pinch of vulnerability and cunning. Sharman Joshi is good as always. Uvika is charmless, pretty much doing Amrita Rao?s Vivah act with the quiet demeanour, conservative dressing and lowered eyelids.

The film is undoubtedly regressive and lives in a world where the impending mother-in-law interviews about the bride?s cooking skills etc, while the elder sister rattles off her praises. Dowry is gleefully given to the boy?s parents; the onus is on their family to refuse.

Part Vivah-Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai-and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, the film is a confluence of several revolving around the pre-marriage boy-girl meeting. One can sense an attempt to recreate the clever, social comedies of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, never quite making the mark. Perhaps in an attempt to make it more commercial, director Kedar Shinde punctuates the film with too many songs; with only a couple standing out. Shinde sets out to make a small-town comedy with old world charm, but succeeds only marginally. Perhaps with more plausible characterisation and a stronger second-half, the film could have been a must-watch.

But for now, the only reason we can recommend the film is Tabu alone. Watch it, if that?s reason enough for you to sample the rest of the mediocre fare.

Verdict: 2.5 stars

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