What the Fish
What the Fish review: Totally fishy!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 13 December 2013
What the Fish
Dimple Kapadia, Vishal Sharma, Sumit Suri, Anand Tiwari, Deepti Pujari, Manu Rishi, Geetika Tyagi, Manjot Singh, Mithun Rodwittiya, Tejpal Singh, Shruti Naik
A control-freak aunt (Dimple Kapadia) is going away for a month leaving her beloved home in her niece?s hands. This aunt is quite a character. Disapproving of everything from the international airport, Delhi cabs, her niece?s modeling career, to her doofus boyfriend ? ?Maasi? is constantly disgruntled.
So it?s practically unbearable for her (she also washes cash and dries them, showing OCD symptoms) to leave the home in someone?s hands. Specific instructions are given out ? feed the fish, clean the tank, talk to the plant? and Maasi is off.
The niece takes this job very seriously recounting a time when she accidentally dropped a drink on Maasi?s sofa and was barred from the home for months. However, she has to scoot out of the city for a modeling shoot, and leaves her clueless boyfriend in charge. Despite a strict warning to not let anyone in, there?s a party that evening in the house, and turns out, there are way too many people interested in the empty house than one would imagine.
The house changes hands leading to the inevitable chaos. While the film holds your interest intermittently in the first half, the second half onwards it?s all downhill.
You have a female boxer who will have to ?pay in kind? to get a transfer to the Mumbai team, a male boxer who cross-dresses in an anarkali as a kathak dancer, and an eloping couple.
Director Gurmmeet Singh (he directed Warning earlier this year) tells the story in a non-linear format, which works for the most part. The concept is fantastic, and had potential for some serious comedy. But what you get are lame episodes of different people in the house with different agendas.
The portion where a middle-aged pervert tries to sleep with his friend?s girlfriend (who is alone in the house) is distasteful. So are the repetitive scenes of the fish dying and people looking for the ?exact? replacement.
And of course the film sadly reinforces the cliche that a woman living alone (she has separated from her cheating husband) will inevitably become cranky and humourless. How inaccurate and what a disservice to so many people who live alone out of choice or due to circumstances. It?s never really fun when a comedy resorts to offending people for laughs.
Dialogue is bland overall, save some interesting lines. The music is fun and songs have lyrics following the current trend of smart-alecky metaphors. Dimple Kapadia holds the film together. She manages to make this character adorable in a backhanded manner. When the aunt is hyperventilating about a ?chudail? (witch) in the house, or bullying the cabbie, it?s simply hilarious!
It is to Kapadia?s credit that the film is watchable, even if intermittently. How you wish this super-talented actress could find a film that exploits her comic timing. The rest of the cast does well, but is let down by the film.
Sigh, yes. This is one of those films you reckon the title and concept is far more absorbing than the film itself. What?s the point then?
Rating: Two stars