Nagesh Kukunoor is back to the genre he began his career with -- a light entertainer. In his new outing, BOMBAY TO BANGKOK, he goes a step further and incorporates every ingredient available on the shelf that constitutes atypical Hindi film. This one's not 'same-same, but different' from Kukunoor's earlier films!
But all's not well in Kukunoor's BOMBAY TO BANGKOK. The plot, though interesting, isn't fine-tuned into a gripping screenplay. What holds promise at the start turns out to be a below-ordinary exercise midway through the film.
Of course, Kukunoor's expert execution of the material makes a difference and a few sequences are elevated to the watchable level, but the impact the film ought to make in totality is missing.
In short, BOMBAY TO BANGKOK lacks the solid punch of a solid storyteller!
Shankar [Shreyas Talpade], a petty thief, in desperate need of money, steals from the local don [Naseeruddin Shah] and escapes his way into a team of doctors heading for relief work to Bangkok. Unfortunately, he loses the all-important money bag in the chaos.
In Bangkok, his world turns upside down at a massage parlour where he bumps into Jasmine [Lena]. The hitch is, she is all Thai and he can't converse with her at all. A ray of hope comes his way the next day when Jasmine turns up desperately in need of a doctor!
Shankar, posing as a doctor along with the Sardar buddy Rachinder, jumps into this whirlpool, while Jasmine soon gets pulled into his bumbling adventures while running away from the don and his son [Vijay Maurya].
Kukunoor's films have well etched characters and the ones in BOMBAY TO BANGKOK are no exception. There's a seedha-saadha cook turned thief - perfect; there's a Thai woman who works as a volunteer in the day and at the massage parlour in the night - perfect again; there's the don's son who wants the money back, but is more focussed on being a Rapper - great. But great characters don't really make a great film!
The problem? A few individualistic scenes [Shreyas' first encounter in a massage parlour, his prescribing Viagra to all patients and the sequence with Lena's uncle, a hardcore Bollywood buff] do raise a chuckle, but when viewed in totality, the zing is missing. It's a screenplay of convenience. And that's why you feel sad since Kukunoor gets it right with the characters, but not the script.
Clearly, Kukunoor is letdown by the writing. Yet, it must be mentioned that Kukunoor's comedies aren't the leave-your-brains-behind types, but inclined towards the Hrishi-da-Basuda variety, which is always welcome. The songs are soothing, with 'Same Same But Different' and 'Mausam Suhana' being well-tuned tracks. Cinematography is alright, although one feels that Kukunoor should've set the film in Bangkok, not at a secluded spot outside Bangkok. The viewers do miss the beauty of the metropolis.
Shreyas is a fine actor and he proves his abilities yet again. Lena, the Thai actress, is equally competent. The actor enacting the role of Rachinder is good. Vijay Maurya is excellent. Yateen Karyekar is alright. Naseeruddin Shah is there for just one scene.
On the whole, BOMBAY TO BANGKOK has a few enjoyable moments, but that's about it. At the box-office, not much to look forward to!