When I went to watch this movie I knew it was supposed to be light, charming and funny. At the end of it, that is exactly how it turned out.
The movie starts off a bit slowly, establishing the principal characters. Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher) is a Punjabi man approaching retirement who has spent his entire life being in ‘service’ and epitomizes the classic middle class man who by virtue of having slogged it out for years in a respectable job has accumulated enough money by way of Provident Fund. His first son Chiraunjilal a.k.a Cherry (Parvin Dabbas) looks the typical MNC software engineer, complete with Allen Solly trousers, rimless glasses and in a ‘she-is-just-a-good-friend’ relationship with Meghna (Tara Sharma). Kamal Kishore and Cherry don’t see eye to eye and the older man makes some awkward attempts at bonding with his son before his typical middle class father’s ego comes in the way. Balwant a.k.a. Bunty (Ranvir Shorey), the second son is the standard Delhi wheeler-dealer who is frittering away his time. Kiran Juneja supports as the mother and there is a boyish teenage daughter to complete the family.
Kamal Kishore invests his entire lifetime’s savings into buying a plot only to find that a land shark, Kishan Khurana (Boman Irani) has grabbed it and he is expected to pay a hefty sum to get his own land back. This alters Kamal’s entire worldview and throws him into the unfair world, which he probably knew existed but had never encountered so far. Trying to appeal to the authorities and other agencies does not help him. Meanwhile, Cherry is busy trying to get a work visa for the U.S., unmindful of his father’s trauma. Bunty tries to help his father but cannot. Just when things seem bleak, Cherry steps in and the whole family hatches a plot for beating Kishan Khurana at his own game and setting things right. Do they succeed forms the rest of the story.
The storyline is fairly simple and the conflicts in it are familiar everyday situations. The charm lies in the characterization of each person. No one is black or white but comes across, as your average person whose faults can be understood when you walk in that person’s shoes. Cherry seems insensitive but is nothing more than someone who has moved away mentally from his family into another wavelength. Bunty is the Man Friday but he is limited by the experience of someone young and competence of someone not too bright. Kamal reigns in the familiar world of his family but cannot handle a new order where his son Cherry is drifting away and people like Kishan Khurana exist.
The story is of course one of those feel-good ones and while you know that the second half may never exist in the real world, you are still happy to let it play out.
The finest performances come from the land shark team lead by Boman Irani. The man is in his element playing a ruthless Goonda who cloaks his slimy interior with an even slimier exterior. His lawyer Munjal, complete with pockmarks on his face, looks the part. The Delhi flavour of the movie lingers strongly right through the movie and with its authentic Punjabi accent and mannerisms provides a welcome relief from typical Bollywood. First time director Dibakar Banerjee can pat himself on his back for this decent debut. The production values are however none too great and in some scenes you can picturise the cameraman having walked heaving the camera. But hey, it is a low budget movie.
Watch it not expecting greatness but believable ordinariness.