By the time ‘God’ Satish Shah shows up to distribute akal ke laddoo to the Gujarati malfuntional brain-dead family that we’ve known for years on television, they are all too far gone.By dint of dumbness the Parekh family earns exemption from redemption.
Khichdi: The Movie is no different in spirit, cast, gags and skits from Khichdi: The Serial. The cast is the same. And that’s a blessing. The enormously talented Gujarati actors are irreplaceable in their proclivity to convey irreverent brain dead humour as applied to the gloriously dumb Parekh family that seems like a parody of Sooraj Barjatya’s joint-family system.
The family system goes down the cistern with a loud splash as the gags swamp the big-screen with the same velocity of iconoclasm as the serial.
And that’s where the trouble lies. While it’s delightful to watch Anang Desai (as the patriarch) and his brood, Supriya Pathak (goofily idiotic in her literal perception of life’s basic tenets), Rajiv Mehta (so blissfully un-intellectual you wonder which came first, the NaÃ¯ve Gujjus or the jokes about them) and the teekha-faced Nimisha Vakharia as the family’s daughter, whoop it up grandly as a family of oblivious ignoramuses, the movie version of Khichdi does not take us any further than the serial.
The humour could have gone an extra mile in the larger space provided. The presentation could have paraded a greater finesse than the sets on television can afford, and the dialogues could do with some fresh polishing up.
Director Aatish Kapadia chooses to let the characters from the serial be exactly the same in the film. For added cinematic value there’s a love story between the scion of the Parekh family Himanshu (Jamnadas Majethia) and the Punjabi girl-next door who lives in family where all the 47 family members are called ‘Parminder’. The Parminder female heir of the family meets her (mindless) match in Himanshu. They want a filmy love story for themselves. Go buy the clichÃ©s in the humour store.
The comic conflagration just about manages to prevent an imminent collapse. The material is too thin to hold up a feature film. The jokes are more prone to evoke titters than genuine laughter. And yet the actors make the Parekh family’s overpowering silliness look engaging.
Though this is a film about moronic people it secretes a level of intelligence in its treatment and execution. What Khichdi: The Movie tells us finally is that hollow people do not constitute a hollow film. To portray this all-encompassing level of dumbness the director has to rise above his characters’ low IQ level.
Aatish Kapadia just about manages that.