After regaling and entertaining moviegoers with GARAM MASALA six years ago, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham reunite in DESI BOYZ. Helmed by first-timer Rohit Dhawan, son of the badshaah of entertainers David Dhawan, this one goes a step further. Serious issues such as recession, unemployment and economic crisis have been integrated into the plotline, which compels the boyz, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham, to choose an alternate job -- join a male escort agency run by Sanjay Dutt.
Male strippers, gigolos and male escorts aren't new for Bollywood. A few years ago, Deepak Tijori made a full-fledged film on youngsters taking to the profession with OOPS!. Of course, DESI BOYZ is not entirely on male strippers or escorts; there's more to the film actually.
DESI BOYZ has a bit of THE FULL MONTY and a bit of DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO. First things first! Is the moviegoer of today ready for a film that depicts the protagonists taking to this undesirable profession to make ends meet? Well, these things are common place in reality, so approval shouldn't be an issue. The tastes have evolved and Rohit Dhawan ensures that the subject matter is treated prudently, paying enough heed to not impairing the sensibilities of the conventional viewers.
Come to think of it, DESI BOYZ is a lot of fun as the male protagonists take to pleasing their female clientele. The first hour, frankly, is akin to a roller coaster ride with lots of fascinating developments unfolding at a feverish pace. The best part is that a tinge of realism [economic crisis] has been injected to the plot, which makes the motives appear convincing on screen. In fact, it's pretty evident that this is not a no-brainer rom-com. But it's the second half that does a complete somersault.
Let me explain. Watching the second hour of DESI BOYZ is akin to watching an entirely different film. The problem clearly lies in the fact that the screenplay doesn't hold and it tries to balance drama and fun, but with not much success. Akshay's story in the University isn't plausible, while John attempting to woo back Deepika lacks muscle. The courtroom sequence, with Akshay fighting to seek custody of his adorable nephew, is bizarre, while the finale is not compelling at all. In short, the second hour is a complete downer, diluting the impact generated by the first hour.
The year is 2009. The world has been struck by the financial meltdown. But Nick Mathur [John Abraham] and Jerry Patel [Akshay Kumar] don't feel a thing in their comfortable pad in London. Nick feels smug with his successful investment banking job, the new bonus in his pocket and the beautiful Radhika [Deepika Padukone] by his side, while Jerry is used to living off his best buddy Nick. But life has a way of pulling the rug from under our feet.
Nick and Jerry stop smiling the day Nick's company decides to downsize and unceremoniously fires him. And Jerry is informed by the Social Services that his nephew Veer, whose local guardian Jerry is, will be placed in a foster home unless he gets a steady job. DESI BOYZ is the story of two men who are forced to do something extremely bizarre which gives them instant gratification, but the repercussions tear them apart.
DESI BOYZ is unlike the atypical Akshay starrers that we have witnessed in the recent past. But Rohit Dhawan, who is also credited for the written material, ought to have ensured that the post-interval portions are equally riveting and absorbing. However, a few moments in the second half are well executed, but it's not like the first half. A film of this nature ought to entertain and the comic scenes ought to have the power to make you laugh, which is clearly lacking here.
Renuka Kunzru's lines are witty and sharp. Natrajan Subramaniam's cinematography is eye-filling. The production design is top notch. Pritam's music compliments the mood of the film. The choreography is striking.
Akshay has transformed into an actor who can handle comic scenes proficiently and DESI BOYZ is proof enough that he has indeed come a long way. Like always, he pitches in an earnest performance, making you notice the loads of effort he puts into his roles. John is a revelation in a role that demands him to look dashing as well as carry off the light scenes effortlessly. The role required a star with a debonair persona and charisma to match Akshay and John seems the most apt choice. The camaraderie between Akshay and John is piping hot.
Deepika continues to evolve as an actor and proves her mettle yet again. Chitrangda, who has been seen in middle of the road cinema/offbeat films so far, enters the plot much later [in the second half] and though she looks stunning and acts well, her character isn't convincing. Sanjay Dutt is winsome in a cameo. Anupam Kher is wasted. Omi Vaidya provides good laughs. The child actor is really cute. Mohnish Bahl is just about okay.
On the whole, DESI BOYZ has an entertaining first half and decent performances as its plusses, but a tedious and least compelling second hour stands out like a sore thumb. Leaves a lot to be desired!