One scene into Bhaiaji Superhit and you know you’re in the wrong place. In fact, one glance at the trailer and promos of the film, you know it’s a film you’re not supposed to watch. I watched it for “work” reasons but I was appalled to see so many people voluntarily walk into the theatre and even sit through the entire film. Had I been a part of the normal audience, and wouldn’t have to review the film, I would have walked out the minute I saw the brilliant Pankaj Tripathi crying at Sunny Deol’s feet for his life in the opening scene. The latter doesn’t kill him because it’s Karwa Chauth and his wife would be hungry. Bhaiaji (Deol) clearly doesn’t care if she becomes a widow, but she shouldn’t go hungry. And this reminds him of his wife, Sapna Dubey (played by a pompous Preity Zinta) and how she left their house and went away exactly seven months, seven weeks, seven hours and seven minutes back. If this logic and dialogue doesn’t shoo you out of the theatres, there are many things in the film that will.
The film stars Sunny Deol as the leading Don of Benaras, and we’re supposed to believe that the entire city revolves around him. Bhaiaji’s wife, played by Preity Zinta has gone to her parents house because she saw her husband hugging a foreigner. And so, in the forthcoming scenes, every time a woman comes around Bhaiaji, she gets offended and walks away. Enter Arshad Warsi, who plays a Bollywood director named Goldie Kapoor. He is a greedy man, running after money, and somehow agrees to make Bhaiaji’s life into a film so that bhabhiji comes back home. Enter Ameesha Patel, who demands nine crores, I repeat, nine crores, to be the leading lady of this film. Why I am saying “enter” over and over again is because that’s how this film has been made. It’s all too choreographed and very rehearsed. Even when Zinta dances to the redundant Sleepy Sleepy Ankhiyan you can almost hear the choreographer saying “1.. 2.. 3..4 and 5 and 6, and 7.. 8..”
Coming to the performances, there are none. Bhaiaji Superhit is just a coming together of people, who seem to claim to be actors, delivering their lines as if it’s the most monotonous job in their lives. All Deol is doing is shouting, while Patel is busy pouting. Here’s a pair that gave us the iconic Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, who just fail to create whatever magic they had, all those years ago. It makes you think to yourself, if their chemistry in Gadar was actually nice. Zinta’s Sapna is one of the worst written characters of this film, in fact, in many parts, she’s not written at all.
In a time when Zinta’s contemporaries from back in the day, Rani Mukerji and Kajol, are choosing to play empowered leading ladies in films like Hichki and Helicopter Eela, Zinta chooses to be a part of the patriarchal bandwagon. Here is an actress who broke all stereotypes with films like Kya Kehna? and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna among others and gave breakthrough performances in films like Veer Zaara, Koi Mil Gaya, Kal Ho Naa Ho and so many more, but agrees to not only bring women down but also her sense of script. I was shocked to see that Zinta would agree to do a film like this, where there is no sense of plot, character, setting (a state of the art palace in Benaras, really?) or even direction.
The film also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra, and Jaideep Ahlawat, each of them, who’ve contributed greatly to Hindi Cinema. But here, like the women, they’re reduced to mere props at the hands of Sunny Deol’s dhai kilo ka haath.
All in all, the trailer of Lion King is all that’s watchable this weekend, because Bhaiaji Superhit should definitely be skipped.
If I had to rate the film, there is one man in the film that doubles up as two characters – a bodyguard and model/actor. How would anyone not notice that, Mr Director?