Tag Archives: Sushmita Sen

Movie Review: No Problem (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

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If you’re considering whether to shell out the cash to see No Problem, ask yourself if a movie whose resolution hinges upon a farting gorilla appeals to you. If so, then you may enjoy No Problem.

No Problem is the latest in a long line of schizophrenic Hindi slapstick comedies that wrongly assume that screaming and frantic action are hilarious. There is barely a narrative holding the story together between all of the running around. Rather, there are a number of loosely interconnected subplots driving the action, involving the following:

  • Yash (Sanjay Dutt) and Raj (Akshaye Khanna), two petty thieves trying to change their ways when they rob a small-town bank out of habit. They run from…
  • Zandulal (Paresh Rawal), the bank manager accused of colluding with Yash and Raj in the theft. He follows them to Durban, South Africa, looking for help from…
  • “Supercop” Arjun Singh (Anil Kapoor), who’s also after a gang of diamond thieves led by…
  • Marcos (Suniel Shetty), who’s fencing the diamonds through a government minister. Arjun can’t catch Marcos while he’s fending off attacks from his wife…
  • Kajal (Sushmita Sen), who has daily blackout episodes in which she tries to murder Arjun. Kajal’s sister…
  • Sanjana (Kangana Ranaut) has caught the eye of Raj, who proposes to her without realizing that her father is police commissioner.

There’s so much going on — and transitions between scenes and subplots are so clunky — that it’s impossible to give the characters adequate time to develop or endear themselves to the audience. I’m not even sure who the director expects us to sympathize with or relate to.

I love slapstick comedies. The goofy Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit is in my DVD player, and The Naked Gun remains one of my all-time favorite films. In fact, an early scene in which Arjun tries to arrest Marcos bears a suspicious resemblance to this scene from The Naked Gun:

But No Problem only goes for cheap laughs that rely on characters running in fast motion and illogically failing to recognize one another. If the dialog is funny in Hindi, the humor didn’t translate into English. The subtitled dialog is boring and excessive.

No Problem is the rare case of a movie that could’ve benefitted from more dance numbers to distract from the dull plot. Instead, the few dance numbers that exist are marred by a surfeit of distracting Anglo backup dancers, most of whom resembled chubby transvestites.

At its worst, No Problem crosses the boundaries of good taste. A male character in drag escapes the romantic advances of another man by declaring that he has AIDS. Given how the disease is ravaging sub-Saharan Africa, it is a tacky and thoughtless attempt at humor.

I enjoyed one of director Anees Bazmee’s previous films, the goofball comedy Welcome. That movie succeeded primarily because of its supporting characters, played by Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor.

No Problem squanders its supporting cast. Suniel Shetty looks like he barely wants to be in the film. Sushmita Sen’s homicidal wife comes the closest to generating laughs, but even her character isn’t taken far enough.

The killer spouse subplot has a strange element to it. Arjun and Kajal have a young daughter whose role is to scream and cry while her mother tries to murder her father in front of her. What’s funny about watching a child suffer? The character isn’t essential to the plot (no, the clichéd instance when she floats away holding too many balloons doesn’t count), so there’s no reason for her to be in the movie.

It’s just another example of how No Problem misses the mark in an attempt to make a safe, unimaginative comedy.

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Movie Review: Dulha Mil Gaya (2010)

1.5 Stars (out of 4)

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When a character chooses to do something he or she wouldn’t normally do, that’s character development. When an outside force makes a character do something he or she wouldn’t normally do, that’s plot-driven development. By confusing the two, Dulha Mil Gaya keeps its two selfish protagonists from becoming the heroes they’re supposed to become.

Dulha Mil Gaya (“I Found a Groom”) is primarily about Shimmer and Donsai, a model and a playboy enjoying the single life in Trinidad. Shimmer (Sushmita Sen) has a wealthy but absent boyfriend she has no intention of marrying. Donsai (Fardeen Khan) is a serial heartbreaker who lives off of his recently-deceased father’s fortune.

Donsai’s lawyer finds a clause in Dad’s will stating that Donsai needs to marry a particular Punjabi girl he’s never met within 15 days or he’ll lose his money.

When Donsai and the lawyer meet the girl in Punjab, she’s shy, conservatively dressed and wearing glasses; there is undoubtedly a makeover scene in her future. The girl, Samarpreet (Ishita Sharma), consents to wed, and she and Donsai get a quickie courtroom marriage. He leaves on a “business trip,” promising to come back for her. He never does.

After three months with no contact, apart from a monthly check in the mail, Samarpreet flies to Trinidad, where she sees Donsai carousing with another woman. Distraught, she runs into Shimmer, who agrees to help, out of a small degree of compassion and a larger desire to cheat Donsai out of his yacht.

The movie proceeds as expected. Samarpreet gets madeover and reborn as Samara, and Donsai pursues her. While Samarpreet is just happy to finally have his attention, I wanted to tear my hair out. Donsai may not know he’s pursuing his wife, but the audience does. So why are we supposed to root for him to get with Samara?

When (spoiler alert) Donsai finally remembers that he ditched a wife in Punjab, it’s only because his butler finds out about it and makes him feel guilty. Donsai doesn’t independently realize that he’s a louse. Even after the predictable “happy ending”, I couldn’t help but feel that Samarpreet got cheated out of a relationship with someone who really loved her.

Shimmer’s love story is just as unsatisfying. Her boyfriend, PRG (played in an extended cameo by Shahrukh Khan), shows up for the last 50 minutes of the movie, announcing his arrival with something like, “Everyone’s been talking about me, and now I’m finally here.” We understand that casting SRK was a stunt; you don’t have to point it out to us.

PRG is a version of his “Shahrukh Khan” character: charming, brave and irresistible. Shimmer puts off committing to him until Samarpreet gives her the stock “It’s time to give up your career and start having babies” speech. As with Donsai, Shimmer wouldn’t have chosen to marry PRG unless someone else told her to.

In addition to the problem of mistaking plot development for character development, Dulha Mil Gaya stereotypes gay men with the character Lotus, Shimmer’s butler. He wears a peach-colored suit and flounces about, exaggeratedly calling everyone “darling.” It’s not until halfway through the movie that he gets to deliver dialog without affectation.

It’s a shame that the only Hindi movie I’ve seen that portrays gays as real people is Dostana, where two straight guys pretend to be gay. They do so by being themselves, but professing to prefer romantic relationships with men rather than women. You know, like real gay people.

Note: Dulha Mil Gaya‘s listed runtime of 1 hr. 48 min. is wrong. It’s more like 2 hrs. 35 min.

Movie Review: Do Knot Disturb (2009)

doknotdisturbZero Stars (out of 4)

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With the world in the middle of an economic crisis, there is one easy way consumers can save money: don’t waste it on Do Knot Disturb.

The movie stars Govinda as Raj, a businessman trying to hide an affair from his suspicious wife, Kiran, played by Sushmita Sen. Kiran owns the company Raj works for, so if he were to get caught with his mistress, Dolly (Lara Dutta), he’d lose his high-paying job as well as his marriage.

Raj hires a waiter to pose as Dolly’s boyfriend in order to trick a private investigator hired by Kiran. In return, the waiter, Govardan (Ritesh Deshmukh), gets an upgraded private hospital room for his ailing mother, as well as a chance to play house with the lovely Dolly.

Dolly also has a jealous ex-husband, played by Sohail Khan, who shows up to slap people. Slapping is the foundation to many of Do Knot Disturb‘s attempts at humor.

The movie’s other attempts at comedy center around men making lewd gestures at women. When the male characters aren’t slapping each other, they’re trying to grope or hump the nearest female character. It’s best to leave the kids at home for this movie, unless you’re looking for a way to broach the topic of where babies come from.

Based on the way jokes and dialog are constructed, I assume that the makers of Do Knot Disturb think that the only people who would see their movie are idiots. That would explain the following exchange between Raj and Kiran:

Kiran: Who is he?
Raj: Who is he?
Kiran: Who is he?
Raj: Who is he?
Kiran: Who is he?
Raj: Who is he?

Many other jokes rely on the comedic theory that things are funnier in threes. Repetition of the same bad jokes doesn’t automatically make them funnier. In this case, it just serves to make the movie feel a lot longer than 2 hrs. 6 min.

Early into the film, I had hopes that the movie would be, if not funny, at least not annoying. It didn’t take long for me to lose any optimism I had. After one scene in which Raj and Govardan spend ten minutes shrieking at each other in high-pitched voices for no reason whatsoever, I actually left the theater.

I convinced myself to go back in and watch the end of the movie, hoping that there would at least be some explanation for why the title contains a deliberate misspelling. There wasn’t. The filmmakers just thought it would be clever to replace “not” with “knot.” But guess what.

It’s not.