Cast:Akshay Khanna, Genelia D'Souza, Paresh Rawal, Om P
In the first five minutes of Mere Baap, Pehle Aap, director Priyadarshan sets the bar painfully low. We begin with an item number in which Om Puri, playing a 50-something bachelor who is desperate to get married cavorts on a beach with nubile women who sing, khali bali, main hoon kunwari kali. This cuts to a scene where he is looking at photographs of potential wives. He dismisses one saying: iski expiry date paas hai. For another, he comments: Yeh accha piece hai. At this point, I thought: well, at least it can’t get worse. Of course it does. Mere Baap is the remake of the hit Malayalam film Ishtam, about a loving son trying to reunite his widower father with his lost love. Obviously a lot was lost in translation. The story had potential for comedy and heart-warming drama. But Priyadarshan and his cast rework it into a crude, loud, singularly unfunny film. The lead actors—Paresh Rawal and Akshaye Khanna—seem to be on auto-pilot and even the divine, National award winning actress Shobhana is reduced to a prop. Mere Baap is cinema as Chinese torture. Steer clear.