Some films arrive too late in the day. MERE DOST PICTURE ABHI BAKI HAIN is one such film. This one has taken a really longgg time to hit the screens. Resultantly, its concept and also the humor, which might have worked when it was green-lit several years ago, look completely out of sync in the present scenario.
A number of films with Bollywood as the backdrop have been attempted in the past. Films like GUDDI, OM SHANTI OM, LUCK BY CHANCE and THE DIRTY PICTURE have tremendous recall value even today. But MERE DOST PICTURE ABHI BAKI HAIN, which attempts to reveal the murky frivolities within Bollywood, stands on a hackneyed screenplay, while the execution of the material is flimsy.
MERE DOST PICTURE ABHI BAKI HAIN traces the journey of Amar Joshi [Suniel Shetty], who runs a video library in Banaras and aspires to be a film-maker. Despite facing objection from his father [Rajiv Varma], Amar Joshi decides to sell his video library and join a film institute in London. After completing his course, he lands in Mumbai to make his film. Suraj [Rajpal Yadav], a struggling actor doing bit roles in TV serials, is Amar's only connection in Bollywood.
Amar Joshi starts his struggle to make his film by meeting various producers, who have their own take on Amar's story. After many failed attempts, he finally bumps into Monty Chadda [Rakesh Bedi], a P.R. guy, who decides to produce his film. They seek the help of star secretary to convince Mohini [Udita Goswami] and her starry mother [Neena Gupta], who agrees to do the film.
Amar's film comes to a grinding halt when Monty suddenly disappears. Amar is summoned by Sudama Bhosle [Deepak Shirke], a don, who was financing his film. He wants Amar to complete his film and also wants him to cast his girlfriend [Mummait Khan]. Amar reluctantly agrees as he has no option. But as luck would have it, Sudama is shot dead and Amar's film is stalled once again.
Meanwhile, Monty resurfaces and decides to make Amar's film into a magnum opus. Hence, a successful writer of many hits, Mr. Baig [Om Puri], is brought on board. Once in, Mr. Baig takes over the reins of the film from Amar and changes it into a totally different film altogether.
To start with, the concept of a film within a film sounds interesting, but the manner in which the drama unfolds looks amateurish, while its interpretation by director Rajnish Raj Thakur lacks the punch, barring a few sequences in the first half. What also makes the movie-going experience cumbersome is the fact that some scenes are abruptly cut or stretched for no particular reason, especially towards the second half [the entire Shayan Munshi-Shawar Ali track is tedious], and the laughs are scarce. Sure, a few witty lines do bring a smile on your face, but the negatives outweigh the positives here. However, I'd like to make a special mention of the title montage. It catches your attention!
The acting is over the top, with everyone going overboard. Suniel Shetty and Rajpal Yadav try hard to infuse life in the proceedings. Udita Goswami gets no scope, while Om Puri gets monotonous after a point. Rakesh Bedi leaves a mark, while Deepak Shirke and Neena Gupta are tolerable.
On the whole, MERE DOST PICTURE ABHI BAKI HAIN is a good concept gone wrong.