David Dhawan and Priyadarshan triggered off a trend -- of making brainless comedies -- and thus began a wave of leave-your-brains-at-home laughathons. Inspired by the success of these ha-ha-he-he fares, every second film-maker decided to join the bandwagon for that elusive Hit. But, of late, no-brainer comedies have reached a saturation point.
Ganesh Acharya's MONEY HAI TOH HONEY HAI actually tests the patience of the viewer. Fine, you don't expect a riveting storyline from a film of this genre, but you definitely expect laughs, don't you? You expect to be entertained, don't you? Alas, what you get to see is definitely not good, not even bad, it's verrry boring!
In his debut film SWAMI, Ganesh Acharya proved that he knows his job well, but what is this? How did the makers okay the script [writer: Muazzam Beg] in the first place? What did the actors see in this script? Did they want to be a part of a mini-multistarrer for the heck of it?
MONEY HAI TOH HONEY HAI is like flying in an aircraft without a pilot. You don't know where it's headed!
MONEY HAI TOH HONEY HAI deals with six characters: Bobby [Govinda] is a happy go lucky guy, who runs away from home to prove himself. Lalabhai [Manoj Bajpayee] becomes wealthy, but he's back on the road as his business fails and he loses all his money. Gaurav [Aftab Shivdasani], a copywriter, is fired from his job. Manik [Upen Patel] is a struggling model who sleeps with a middle-aged fashion designer [Archana Puransingh], hoping to make it big. Ashima [Hansika] is a successful TV star, but she's not happy with her career and is desperate to do films as the lead heroine. Shruti [Celina Jaitley] is a struggling dress designer.
One fine day, they all get an SMS informing them that they are the owners of a 1,000 crore company. However, their happiness does not last long for the lawyer reveals that there's a loan of 1,200 crore on the company and they must repay it and until the loan is repaid, they would be kept under house arrest.
The story sounds interesting on paper, but on celluloid, it's non-existent. Prem Chopra picks up random cellphone numbers and makes them calls. He wants them to inherit his fortune. But the entire first hour is devoted to why they became losers. It's only at the interval point that you expect the story to begin. But does it take off? Nope!
Instead of sticking to the core issue, it meanders into meaningless sub-plots, which only add to the boredom. The finale at the fashion show [well choreographed by Achala Sachdev] is interesting, but by then you're exhausted and want the movie to end.
The writer of this film is the biggest culprit. The writing touches a new low with this film. Ganesh Acharya tries to pack in funny sequences, but just two bring a smile -- the Archana Puransingh-Upen Patel track and Govinda's encounter with a Vijay Mallya lookalike, who is surrounded by a bevy of beauties.
The songs [music: Nitin Arora, Soni Chandi] too show up without any valid reason whatsoever, although a few songsare tuneful and well choreographed.
Now to the performances! Govinda looks too old for his part. The role demanded a 20 + actor and Govinda looks completely out of place here. The age shows! Imagine, he calls Jawed Sheikh his father and Ketaki Dave his mother!!!! Besides, why is behaving so kool by speaking in English? It looks fake!
You feel sad to watch an actor of the calibre of Manoj Bajpayee being reduced to absolute nothing. Is he the same actor who acted in SATYA? And ZUBEIDAA, PINJAR and 1971? Aftab Shivdasani looks right for the part, but he hardly gets any scenes. Upen Patel does a good job and his scenes are truly funny.
Hansika goes over the top. Celina Jaitley gets no scope either. Archana Puransingh, besides Upen, provides a few laughs. She's excellent. Prem Chopra is wasted. Ravi Kishan too doesn't impress.
On the whole, MONEY HAI TOH HONEY HAI is a poor show. At the box-office, a damp squib!