Bol Bachchan opens with a blindingly bright, not exactly enjoyable, song featuring the original Bachchans and Ajay Devgn. As the credits roll, Bachchan Senior and Junior mouth the former’s dialogue from yesteryears. At the end of the song, Amitabh comes on to say he’s not in the film. By the end of it, you know why he isn’t.
Junior B attempts to enthral as Abbas Ali/Abhishek Bachchan, while playing the done-to-death cat-and-mouse role with Devgn (Prithviraj Raghuvanshi). A little too heavily inspired by the 1979 Amol Palekar-starrer Golmaal, unintended dishonesty is the basic premise of Bol Bachchan.
Prithviraj is a pseudo-brute. He lives to see the progress of his town — Ranakpur, shoots the most hilarious lines in English and dotes on kid sister Radhika (Prachi Desai). Victims of bad relatives and worse hair days, Abbas (Abhishek Bachchan) and sister Sanya (Asin) move to Ranakpur with Shastrji (Asrani). Impressed by his honesty and bravura, Prithviraj hires Abbas-turned-Abhishek-turned-Abbas as “Superman”. What follows is a ham fest, where all the characters compete to excel.
Palekar’s Golmaal is funny without trying too hard. Bol Bachchan treats it audience as a bunch of juveniles with an IQ of 20. Director Shetty could only aspire to reach the greatness of the real Golmaal. Over-the-top editing and music add to its 'wannabe' nature.
While the Abhishek-Ajay duo is at ease with their characters, one can smell many more Rohit Shetty-stamped Bol Bachchans on the way. While Asin seems to have a perpetual bad hair day, veteran Asrani and Archana Puran Singh suffer from diarrhea of overacting. Desai’s presence is like balm on scars left by Neeraj Vora and one guy who is called Ravi Shastri (Krushna Abhishek).
Shetty banks on innuendo, puns, religion and cheap comments on sexual orientation to add to the comedy value. Only that it’s not always in good taste. However, there are some genuinely funny scenes including Abhishek’s dance on popular Hindi songs and Devgn’s obsession with the English language. In context, stuff like ‘Necessity is the mother of Discovery channel’ and ‘Today, my chest has become blouse’ leaves you in splits.
Shetty conveniently steps into the Singham territory as and when he feels like it, so slo-mo blows, head butts, wild car chases and lots of satakleli action are common. Right from the back story to the Karz-style Ek Haseena Thi performance, Bol Bachchan borrows a lot from and seeks to spoof Bollywood films. However it succeeds only sporadically.
If you liked the Shetty Golmaals and Singham, this review will only be bol bachchan for you. Have fun while it lasts.