2 Average

Paying Guests

If a play is successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that its cinematic adaption too would work. Paying Guests just confirms this. Based on a successful play, the film would have clicked even if it had some minor loopholes. But alas, the film falls at several places. Besides, the weak direction spoil the things more.

The story of the movie: Bhavesh (Shreyas Talpade), Parag (Jaaved Jaffery) and Parikshit (Aashish Chowdhary) live as paying guests at the place of Kiska (Asrani) in Bangkok. Due to bad luck, one day, all three of them are thrown out of their respective jobs. At this point of time enters into the scene, Parikshit’s cousin Jayesh (Vatsal Seth), who arrives at Bangkok to work as an architect. Bad times are still not over for the three paying guests as they are thrown out by Kiska. They now desperately search for a new landlord, who would give them a room at cheaper rate. Finally, they get one such person-Ballu Singh (Jhonny Lever), who is coincidentally the former employer of Bhavesh. He is willing to rent his house only on one condition-the paying guest should be married! And so, Bhavesh and Parag take the guise of women and pretend to be Parikshit and Jayesh’s wives, Karishma and Kareena, in front of Ballu and his wife (Delnaaz Paul)! What follows is madness!

Problems with Paying Guests are many. The biggest culprit is of course the execution. The screenplay also is to blame. The idea at hand was wonderful-four friends trying to fool a landlord (This idea was wonderfully utilized in Dostana recently). However, it was not fully tapped.

To add more drama in the story, the writer had added two villains-Chunkey Pandey and Inder Kumar. But both of them don’t help to improve things much. And the climax-you have to see it to believe it! Akbar, Salim, Ravana, Thakur, Spider Man, Phoolan Devi, Shehanshah, Krrish and even Osama-all come under one roof (and on one stage) and perform! What’s more, Spider Man calls Ravana his best friend who in turn gets smitten by Anarkali! It can’t crazier than this! Although this spoof-filled climax does manage to make you laugh, it was one of the most stupid climaxes of all time!

So any plus point in the film? Fortunately, yes! Besides nice performances, the film has some funny entertaining moments here and there which manage to raise a few laughs. The scene where the four friends are making fun of Asrani without knowing that he’s standing right at the back works well. Another funny sequence-Delnaaz believing that Shreyas is pregnant! Many such scenes succeed in entertaining.

Performance-wise, Shreyas Talpade was certainly the best one. Comedy has always been his forte and he performs perfectly, as per his character demanded. He was also very impressive in his women-act. He certainly deserves to be nominated for Best Comic Role!

Jaaved Jaffery and Ashish Chowdhary, too give a good a performance. Ashish was particularly excellent in the scenes with Neha Dhupia. Vatsal Seth, like everytime, looks charming. Jhonny Lever was as usual funny. Delnaaz Paul fails to make the viewers laugh. Same for Chunkey Pandey who was irritating. I wish he can repeat his Apna Sapna Money Money magic. Inder Kumar was horrible. Paintal was bearable.

The film also has four heroines-Neha Dhupia, Celina Jaitly, Sayali Bhagat and Riya Sen, who add to the glamour quotient in the film. However, only Neha Dhupia succeeds in making a mark. In one scene, one could clearly see her grey hair!

Sajid-Wajid’s music was plain average. Songs were added unnecessarily in the film. 2 songs-‘Jack & Jill’ and the title song stand out. P Shelvakumar’s cinematography was good. Although the film is shot in Pataya, its scenic locales were not showed much in the film. Dialogues, especially the ones mouthed by the four actors and Jhonny were funny. But the lines of Delnaaz, Chunkey and Inder were plain horrible.

Paritosh Painter impressed one and all with his screenplay and dialogues in Dhamaal. He has also directed plays, many of which are super-hits. Unfortunately, Paritosh fails to deliver this time. Paritosh is a great play director, but couldn’t do justice as a film director. The story (also penned by him) was good and could have been made into a better film. Better luck next time, Paritosh!

On the whole, Paying Guests is a disappointment. It makes you laugh, but only in very few places. It’s better to avoid it and instead watch it on VCD/DVD/Cable later!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Paying_Guests-169841-1.html