A laboured effort
By MovieTalkies.com, 02 March 2007
First time director Ajay Chadhok, a longtime assistant to David Dhawan, follows in his mentor's footsteps and doles up a comic feast in Nehle Pe Dehla. The ingredients are all there in place for a rollicking comedy, but something goes wrong with the mix. Nehle Pe Dehla turns out to be a very laboured feat, thus defeating the very purpose of a comedy.
The director has got his casting right. Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan as the two small time crooks, Johnny and Jimmy, slip into their characters with ease. One suspects that the ease has more to do with the fact that somewhere along the line they have done this before. The film's story deals with these two small time crooks, who work independently towards their dream of money by conning and robbing people. But a chance encounter with a dead body, and the lure of 30 crores, gets them to join hands. The Rs 30 crore is part of a fraud committed by Shakti Kapoor, who plays the manager of Priya (Bipasha Basu)'s five-star hotel.
The two crooks get into the hotel by posing as waiters. Since old habits die hard, each tries his best to oust the other so that the entire Rs 30 crore can just be theirs. But to their dismay, they realize that the money is not in the hotel but with Shakti Kapoor. They blackmail him. Their sojourn at the five star gets interesting with Priya showing interest in Johnny and her friend, played by Kim Sharma falling in love with Jimmy. The brawn behind Shakti Kapoor's plan is Mukesh Rishi and his three brothers played by Aasif Shaikh and Shiva. They kill Shakti Kapoor and decide to make a go for the bounty themselves. Johnny and Jimmy now have the task of discovering the Rs 30 crore along with Shakti Kapoor's dead body for company. The film takes a bizarre turn with a tantrik entering the picture. She manages to programme the corpse such that whenever it hears a particular song, it starts walking towards the treasure. Of course, all's well that end's well. The villains are defeated and the heroes get the bounty and the babes as well.
Nehle Pe Dehle falls short in the comic department. It has nothing fresh or new to offer. The plot is hackneyed and so are the characters. Everything is very predictable. The villains are a bunch of goons. Bumbling idiocy does not always make for laughs. Hence Mukesh Rishi & Co are not even remotely funny, even though a lot of effort has been put into making their sequences funny. The two heroines, Bipasha and Kim Sharma, have little else to do besides act as good-looking props. The romance is imbecile to say the least. Shakti Kapoor plays a role he has done millions of times before. The sequences with the corpse remind one of Satish Shah playing a corpse in another comedy, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, definitely one of the better known Hindi film laugh-riots.
As for the lead pair of Sanjay and Saif, they have definitely done better. The roles of Johnny and Jimmy have nothing new to offer. Sanjay, continues to play the tapori with ease as does Saif. It's not really their fault if the film looks a tad jaded. The fault lies with the script and dialogue writers. They bring nothing new to the table. The potential for laughs exists but needs to be exploited by a clever writer. The dialogues could have done with a lot more punch.
If it was the intention of the producer and the director to play it safe, then yes they have succeeded. But in their bid to play safe, they have made a very boring film. Nehle Pe Dehla looks dated and sounds clichéd and very uninteresting.