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Entertainment Movie Review

The only bright spot in the film is Akshay's principal co-actor, Junior the Wonder Dog, a handsome, smooth-coated Golden Retriever.

  | August 22, 2014 13:51 IST

Rating:

<i>Entertainment</i> Movie Review
  • Genre:
    Comedy
  • Cast:
    Junior, Akshay Kumar and Tamannaah Bhatia
  • Director:
    Sajid-Farhad
SPOILERS AHEAD

This is Bollywood's first attempt at a canine comedy. The result is terrible advertisement for all concerned - mankind as a whole, man's best friend in particular, and the genre itself.

Entertainment, scripted and directed by super-successful potboiler writers Farhad-Sajid, is unabashedly asinine and delivers anything but what the title promises.

What this atrocious Akshay Kumar vehicle comes up with in the name of entertainment is an utterly unfunny and appallingly dim-witted concoction that is marred by stale gags and labored one-liners.

The only bright spot in the film is Akshay's principal co-actor, Junior the Wonder Dog, a handsome, smooth-coated Golden Retriever.

But the poor dog stands no chance of being heard above the din. Surrounded by humans who insist on playing monkey tricks, the four-legged creature is hopelessly out of place.
While the dog is made to mimic the men around him, the men around the dog lose no opportunity to resort to simian antics.

Entertainment, dogged by a screenplay that is as silly as it is starchy, is like a lumbering monster stuck in a snowstorm and incapable of gathering either momentum or direction despite stretching every single sinew in its body.

The title of the film stems from the dog's screen moniker, which, in turn, is derived from the joyful effect that the canine character has on the life of his flush-with-cash but lonely master.

For his unwavering devotion, the dog inherits the wealth of Bangkok's Indian-origin diamond king Pannalal Johri (Dalip Tahil, who is seen mostly in a framed, garlanded portrait on a wall inside the tycoon's mansion).

The windfall that the retriever receives makes him an object of envy and he has to employ all his wiles to keep potential usurpers at bay.

The male protagonist (who happens to be the son of a long-dead woman who was abandoned by the moneyed grandee) has his sights on biological father's estate.

So do two villainous jailbirds (siblings Karan and Arjun, played by Prakash Raj and Sonu Sood, who claim to be the business baron's "second cousins").

The hero, Akhil Lokhande from aamchi Mumbai, lurches from one low-paying job to another until information pops up from nowhere about the untimely death of a stinking rich papa he did not know existed.

Akhil has reasons for wanting to get rich quick. The demanding father (Mithun Chakraborty) of the soap opera actress that he loves (Tamannah Bhatia) will settle for nothing less than a moneybag for his daughter.

But the dog and his Urdu-spouting caretaker, Habibullah (Johny Lever), have other ideas.
It might have helped the film's cause somewhat had Farhad-Sajid opted not to bark up the wrong tree in their desperate quest for laughs.

The debutant director duo seeks to squeeze coarse humour out of meaningless cross-references to Bollywood movies of the past and to the names and traits of Mumbai showbiz personalities, including those in the cast.

Most of these references flow from the mouth of the hero's sidekick, Jugnu (Krushna Abhishek), a DVD library owner whose lines are peppered with pointless puns on the names of Bollywood actors. But he is by no means the only offender.

The villains, on their part, rope in three lawyers named Sanjay, Leela and Bhansali when they hatch a plot to snatch away the dog's riches. But what is the connection between the maker of Saawariya and the act of daylight robbery? That is anybody's guess.

The two baddies also frequently play on their names, Karan and Arjun, to the accompaniment of the musical leitmotif from the Shahrukh-Salman starrer.

And of course, the heroine never tires of harping on Balaji ki kasam and Ekta.

What are these guys blabbering on about, one might ask. A character actually poses that question at one point in the film, but gets no coherent answer.

Entertainment is the sort of film in which the characters are reduced to exchanging inanities while the dog looks on flummoxed.

In the acting department, Entertainment is nearly in the Humshakals league. In other words, it will definitely be in the running for the year's Golden Kela awards. The actors in this film have clearly been paid to make a sorry spectacle of themselves. It does not make for happy viewing.

The dog scores over the rest of the cast because the animal does not have any dialogue to deliver nor any song to swing to.

If this is entertainment, what, pray, is torture? Run for cover.

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