A week or two ago, while surfing the TV channels, I chanced upon this immensely enjoyable Govinda starrer that was being telecast for the umpteenth time. Despite the fact that I had watched it time and again, I decided to watch it yet again, complimenting and applauding Govinda's natural act and comic timing in the movie. That Govinda is a fabulous actor cannot be denied. Of course, the reasons for his not being in the limelight could be several, but even his detractors will agree that when it comes to certain roles, he's pure dynamite.
NAUGHTY @ 40, Govinda's new release, aims at bringing the actor back in the reckoning, a position that he once enjoyed not too long ago. NAUGHTY @ 40 is vintage Govinda fare replete with his by-now-famous characteristics, body language, dialogue delivery and even pelvic thrusts that the masses have gleefully mastered over the years. The only difference is, the actor plays a 40-year-old virgin in this sex comedy.
Clearly inspired by THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, NAUGHTY @ 40 has been adapted to suit the Indian sensibilities. But director Jagmohan Mundhra ensures that it's not an out-and-out 'naughty' experience. The first hour has moments that keep you rolling in your seat as the humor gets raunchier and unsophisticated, laughing at Govinda when his attempts to deal with his problems go awry. From crude hilarity to syrupy sentimentality, the post-interval portions of NAUGHTY @ 40 changes tracks and becomes a 'love triangle', with Govinda falling in love with a foreigner, post marriage to Yuvika. Though the lewd jokes appear sporadically, the focus is now on drama and how a man is torn between two women.
NAUGHTY @ 40 would've made a better impact had its writer not stretched and crammed the narrative with college boy humor and laced it with words that shock and amuse, depending on your taste. Semi-naked bodies, massage jokes, sequences involving transsexuals and a constant reminder that the protagonist is a 40-year virgin make up for most parts of the narrative. The humor is directed at the hardcore masses, those who relish such jokes.
NAUGHTY @ 40 tells the story of a 40-year-old man [Govinda] living in London with his parents [Anupam Kher, Smita Jaykar] and cousin [Harish]. The problem is, he's still a virgin. The father seeks the help of his employee [Shakti Kapoor], who tries various tricks in the book so that Govinda loses his virginity, but all efforts turn futile.
The family leaves for Manali, where Govinda gets married to a girl much younger to him [Yuvika Choudhary]. However, Yuvika is up to childish pranks all the while, which results in Govinda getting into a physical relationship with a foreigner. Yuvika gets a rude shock when she discovers the truth. That brings about a change in her attitude.
Director Jagmohan Mundhra is known for serious, hard-hitting films, but with NAUGHTY @ 40, one realizes that he can handle humor as well. However, the comedy borders on vulgarity at times and caters to those who don't mind a generous dose of naughty jokes and skin show. Having said that I would like to add that a few sequences are indeed funny, especially the one when Govinda talks of camels, elephants, flies and dogs mating.
The songs are an add-on, with just one track holding appeal - 'Thoda Tum Adjust Karo'. Cinematography is strictly okay. The locales of Manali add to the visual appeal.
NAUGHTY @ 40 packs just about everything that one associates with a Govinda film. Govinda has been a fav of the masses; his antics have always appealed to them and this film is no rule-breaker. His strength lies in handling the comic situations and dialogue with effortless ease and NAUGHTY @ 40 mirrors this fact yet again. Yuvika springs a surprise. Matching up to Govinda is no small achievement and she does it well. Anupam Kher is funny and so is Shakti Kapoor. Sanjay Mishra is a natural. Smita Jaykar gets minimal scope. Harish is okay. Sayali Bhagat appears in a cameo.
On the whole, NAUGHTY @ 40 is for the hardcore masses who relish double entendres and saucy jokes.