Toh Baat Pakki is the sort of homely family drama that Sooraj Barjatya might have made on a bad day, about a decade ago.
An over-bearing but well-meaning housewife Rajeshwari, played by Tabu, takes in a young man, Rahul played by Sharman Joshi, as a paying guest so that she can match make between him and her younger sister. Only after the marriage date has been fixed, a more eligible bachelor, Yuvraj played by Vatsal Seth, saunters in and now Rajeshwari feels compelled to break up her sister?s relationship and re-hook her with prospect number 2.
This family sit-com style plot could have yielded a few laughs but director Kedar Shinde doesn?t know how to pitch the film. So in between farcical comedy, there is heavy duty melodrama and we are asked to take both equally seriously. The writing is dull and Shinde further slows the pace down by bunging in songs that feature the otherwise traditional and simple characters in hip clothes in locations around Mumbai and Goa.
The first half just about manages to hang together but in the second, Toh Baat Pakki derails. Rahul tries to break off Yuvi?s impending marriage through circuitous routes that involve mice, kidnappings and dowry. But it is so unremittingly dreary that after a while, I couldn?t follow the convoluted plotting.
Barjatya pulled off near-ridiculous moments in blockbusters like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun because his conviction didn?t waver even when the climax hinged on a critical decision made by a dog. Sadly Shinde doesn?t display the same talent or conviction.
So it?s left to the actors to carry the load. Rajeshwari, whose good intentions are also a little cruel, is an intriguing woman. Tabu is skilled enough to make her both likable and mean but the script doesn?t match her performance.
Sharman also gets marks for sincerity but none of this is enough to make Toh Baat Pakki worthwhile. My personal request to Tabu: please don?t do any film that puts you in the same frame as Upsana Singh.
Toh Baat Paaki feels like eating left-overs that have been reheated too many times. It?s not very appetizing.