While no specific genre dominated the domestic BO in 2013, one cannot close the eyes to the contribution of MERE DAD KI MARUTI, JOLLY LLB, CHASHME BADDOOR, FUKREY and GRAND MASTI -- light entertainers/comedies all, besides being successful at the BO -- when you compile the list of 'Hits and Misses' of the year gone by. As luck would have it, the New Year commences with a funny filmâ€¦ at least that's what one assumes when one has a quick look at its eye-catching title [MR JOE B. CARVALHO], besides experiencing its loaded-with-fun promos. Also, when you assemble names that are synonymous with comedies [Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi in particular], you expect to be transported to ha-ha-land the moment you embark on this adventure.
But making people laugh is one helluva task. Gone are the days when banana peel humor or making faces would be lapped up by audiences. Not anymore. In addition, since Arshad and Jaaved are essaying principal roles, the onus lies on packaging the narrative with jokes, PJs, gags and hilarious jibes that would make you flex your facial muscles constantly. The question is, does MR JOE B. CARVALHO work? More particularly, does the humor tickle your funny bone? Unfortunately, what could've been a mad and manic entertainer runs out of fuel after an interesting start!
Shantipriya [Soha Ali Khan], a police officer, is entrusted the task of nabbing an international terrorist, Carlos [Jaaved Jaaferi]. However, she mistakes Joe B. Carvalho [Arshad Warsi] for Carlos and the comedy of errors ensuesâ€¦
First things first! One may assume that MR JOE B. CARVALHO might be overloaded with double entendres, courtesy its title, but that's not true. Thankfully, this one's devoid of any vulgarity whatsoever. Now let's analyse the film... MR JOE B. CARVALHO attempts to spoof just about everything available on platter, but the sad part is that the screenplay is not as creative as its title. The film depends largely on the [super] comic timing of Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi, while a few one-liners and sequences are genuinely funny as well, but these are mere exceptions.
First-time director Samir Tewari encompasses bizarre episodes, outlandish occurrences and crazy one-liners in this wacky entertainer, but a majority don't work. He also makes sure there's a relentless supply of PJs, but when you don't laugh or react to the on-screen buffoonery, it means something is seriously wrong. What saves the film, albeit marginally, are the one-liners. It won't be erroneous to state that the dialogues are the spine of the film and succeed in keeping the smiles coming. Sadly, a weak narrative, towards the second hour specifically, plays the spoilsport. The climax is slipshod and erases the impact created by the positives.
Needless to say, the film belongs to Arshad Warsi and rests heavily on his shoulders. His comic timing is flawless and he gets the act spot on. Jaaved Jaaferi too is known for his comic side, but his potential isn't tapped to the fullest. Considering that he has already done the drag act before, there's nothing innovative or new that he brings to the table in varied avatars. Soha Ali Khan portrays the dabangg cop with sincerity. She also carries off the glam avatar very well.
Veteran Ranjeet, in a blink-and-miss role, is wasted. One wonders why singer-turned-actor Babul Supriyo chose this film to be his launch vehicle in Bollywood as he gets no scope whatsoever. Vijay Raaz, Shakti Kapoor, Vrajesh Hirjee, Manoj Joshi, Snehal Dabhi and Virendra Saxena are their usual self. Amongst the ladies, Himani Shivpuri overdoes her role of Arshad's mother. Geeta Basra and Karishma Kotak are strictly okay. Kunal Khemu's cameo makes no impact!
On the whole, MR JOE B. CARVALHO has few moments that stay with you, but a weak second half plays the spoilsport.