Don?t judge a film by its poster, a bright spark on the screen reminds the audience rather helpfully. We know, buddy. But what if the book turns out to be worse than the cover?
Actually, it isn?t quite that simple out here either way: neither the poster nor the film is worth wasting any considered judgment on.
David Dhawan?s Chashme Baddoor is a raggedy bag of gags as flimsy as the boxers that the three buddies strut around in ? they are full of colour all right but add little value to the canvas.
Intended to be a breezy comic romp, the film is woefully short of wind in its sails despite all the bluff and bluster that it whips up.
The cult classic of 1981 that is still vividly etched in our collective memories receives the OTT Double D (over the top David Dhawan) treatment but isn?t even half the fun that Sai Paranjpye?s witty and infectiously mirthful Chashme Buddoor was.
Note the difference in spelling. Dhawan spells Baddoor with an ?a? ? it adds up to too ?bad? and too far gone to be genuinely enjoyable.
Paranjpye had settled for a ?u? in her Buddoor ? her film had instant ?universal? appeal. This ill-advised remake is less adult than asinine.
Watch Chashme Baddoor by all means if you nurture no reverence for Hindi cinema?s past, for whatever it is worth.
Watch it for all the frenzied dancing, prancing and romancing that Dhawan unleashes to the accompaniment of Hindi film hits of the none-too-distant past, in addition to a slew of new musical numbers.
For this critic, Chashme Baddoor does evoke a degree of nostalgia but not quite in the way one would expect.
You hear SP Balasubramanyam?s robust voice in a snatch of Dekha hai pehli baar and how you long for a return to the era of the great male singers who sounded male and not like some of the nasal, effeminate, monotonous wonders that rule the roost today!
Ali Zafar, the film?s lead actor who gets to sing a solitary peppy love ditty, comes pretty close to the tonal timbre of those great voices that once defined Hindi movie music.
Unfortunately, amid the high-pitched din that this Chashme Baddoor delivers, these little delights are but stray straws in a wild gust.
So, if you can?t stand the unseemly sight of a pristine idea being mauled, battered and pulverized out of shape and beyond recognition, do yourself a favour and stay away from this laboured, loud and lowbrow rehash of a truly magnificent comedy.
As a matter of fact, Chashme Baddoor doesn?t deserve to be designated as a remake: it demolishes much more than it actually makes.
Dhawan and his scriptwriter leave the core of the original storyline intact but tamper cavalierly with its essence. The result is anything but salutary.
They yank the bum chums away from their culture-specific Delhi location and transport them to an indeterminate Goan setting. In the bargain, all prospects of carving a genuinely funny caper flick out of the material are driven to the ground and many feet under.
It is one thing to seek to update a comic love story from a bygone era for present times. It?s quite another to trifle with its spirit.
Chashme Baddoor goes completely go off the rails in trying to eke out a laugh-a-minute ride by resorting to methods that one thought had gone out of currency with Govinda.
Yes, there is something unconscionably twisted and misplaced about this Chashme Baddoor.
The antics of the motor-mouth male trio at the centre of the rigmarole ? Sid (Ali Zafar), Jai (Siddharth) and Omi (Divyendu Sharma) ? border on the imbecile, and the one-liners that they direct at each other and at the world at large are delivered at decibel levels so high that that it could rattle even those that are hard of hearing.
Sid is an introverted goody two-shoes who believes in playing safe, but his two pals ? one a wannabe poet who spouts irritatingly silly rhymes, the other a movie-crazy city slacker in love with the idea of who he is ? are incorrigible skirt-chasers who repeatedly land in trouble.
One gets bitten on the rump by a frisky canine; the other gets whipped by a feisty granny. The trauma drives them over the edge and they lose all sense of what?s good for them. The duo is perfect advertisement for a film that has no clue where it is going.
The girl that they are out to woo, Seema (Taapsee Pannu), is no coy touch-me-not. On the run from an armyman dad (Anupam Kher) who wants her to marry a soldier, she seeks refuge in the Goa home of her civilian uncle (Anupam Kher again) and her spirited grandmother (Bharti Achrekar).
The mayhem that ensues as a result of a series of mistaken identities and misadventures has a deleterious effect on Chashme Baddoor ? it goes from bad to worse.
Everyone, including a cafe owner called Joseph Furtado (Rishi Kapoor) and the object of his late-blooming desire, ageing spinster Josephine (Lilette Dubey), jumps into the pool of uncertainty.
Subtlety certainly isn?t the name of the game here. Wit is replaced by runaway buffoonery. As the humour assumes crude, if not lewd, overtones, the actors take the cue and ham away to glory.
But to their credit, they shriek, holler, run around in circles and make a spectacle of themselves and yet manage to stay on their feet for the most part. Wish one could say the same about the film as a whole.
If the original was a soothing and timeless melody, this is a raucous and forgettable item number. Give it a shot if you must, but don?t expect the world from it.