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?