Movie Review: Bumboo (2012)

1 Star (out of 4)

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The English translation of the Hindi slang word “bumboo” is “a mess.” Bumboo is an apt title for this movie, but not in the way the filmmakers intended it.

Bumboo is based on L’emmerdeur, a French comedy from 1973 that spawned a French remake in 2008. The premise is intriguing: an assassin’s stakeout is interrupted by the heartbroken, suicidal man staying in the hotel room next door.

While the premise is good, the film itself is not. Bumboo relies on my least favorite comedy gimmicks to try to generate laughs. Characters run around frantically, tripping over each other in order to get close enough to slap each other. Fart jokes abound. None of it is funny.

Sharat Saxena plays an assassin named Mangal Singh. The sharpshooter positions himself in a hotel room hours before a notorious embezzler is due arrive at court, where he plans to name his accomplices. Mangal’s room offers him a clear shot at the courthouse steps.

The hotel room adjoining Mangal’s has a good, but slightly less clear shot of the steps, and it’s occupied by a newspaper photographer, Suresh Sudhakar (Kavin Dave). However, Suresh is too distracted by despair over his failed marriage to care about his job.

Suresh tries to kill himself in his room, but nosy bellhop Vincent Gomes (Sanjai Mishra) saves him. By virtue of residing in the adjoining room, Mangal is deputized by the bellhop to be Suresh’s caretaker. The assassin’s mission is further compromised when Suresh’s ex, her new boyfriend, and the crooks who hired Mangal show up at the hotel.

Characters scream most of their dialog, even though the bulk of the scenes take place in two small hotel rooms connected by an interior door. Writer-director Jagdish Rajpurohit seems to equate volume with humor.

As a result of the all-screaming-all-the-time system of dialog delivery, the acting is overdone. Sharat Saxena has a bit of charisma as the stymied assassin, but not enough to make up for his constant bellowing. Kavin Dave as the heartbroken photographer is almost as annoying as Mandy Takhar, who plays Suresh’s ex-wife, Pinky.

The irritating side characters who exist solely to complicate Mangal’s assassination attempt — such as the bellhop and Pinky’s idiotic new flame, Dr. Souza (Sumit Kaul) — add nothing to the film. But the worst side character of all is the flatulent crook Manu Gupta (Sudhr Pande). Scenes of his transport to the courthouse incorporate all manner of bodily functions and disgust more than they amuse. Why?


12 thoughts on “Movie Review: Bumboo (2012)

  1. sharad1963

    Bumboo, to the best of my knowledge, is an Indian pronunciation of Bamboo. I think the movie poster has shown a few sticking out. Colloquially, and metaphorically in India if you “gave someone bumboo” it means you bullied him.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Thanks for explaining that, sharad. It definitely explains why the poster looks the way it does. “Bumboo” is used both ways in the movie, according to the English subtitles. Early on, it’s translated as “bamboo.” Then, at about the 70-minute mark, some song lyrics — “sub/sab bumboo hai” — are translated as: “all is a mess.” Whatever it’s supposed to mean, the movie really is a mess.

  2. Keyur

    Oh you saw Bumboo! It just bombed over here without anyone noticing it. The reason is evident from your review πŸ™‚

    Cheers πŸ™‚

        1. Kathy Post author

          Thanks for the recommendation, Keyur. There’s one theater near Chicago that carries Indian movies from outside of Bollywood — Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi — but I’ve never seen them carry a Marathi film. Oh, well. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

          1. Keyur

            You welcome, Kathy πŸ™‚
            Yes, it’s sad that they don’t screen Marathi films. Every now and then there comes a Marathi film which can be enjoyed by international audiences as well. Recent examples – Harishchandrachi Factory, Shala, Deool, Masala, Jana Gana Mana, Ajintha, Tukaram, etc.
            Let’s hope they start screening them some day

            Cheers πŸ™‚

            P. S –

            1. Kathy Post author

              The Shala trailer that you linked to is great, Keyur. If I understand the Oscar criteria correctly, Shala should be eligible to compete in the next Academy Awards. Based on the trailer, it looks like exactly the type of movie the Academy voters love. I hope India’s nominating committee considers it.

              1. Keyur

                I am glad you loved it, Kathy πŸ™‚ I fully agree with you. When I saw the movie even I felt it’s worthy for an Academy nomination. I hope you get to see it some day. It’s moving but at the same time very funny πŸ™‚

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