It's really not so funny
By MovieTalkies.com, 09 July 2007
It's quite tragic actually. Director Raj Pendurkar manages to assemble a cast of great comedians and fails to generate more than an occasional guffaw. That's what so sad about Bombay to Goa. What starts out as a comedy, really does not give us all that much to laugh about. The real villain in this case is the screenplay. If the film was shorter in length, and if the writers had concentrated on moving the plot forward instead of trying to accommodate all the stars of comedy in the film, it might have made for a more enjoyable trip. Unlike the earlier Bombay to Goa starring Amitabh Bachchan, Mehmood, Aruna Irani and Jagdeep, this one lacks class.
But to be fair to Pendurkar's film, the premise is perfect for a laugh riot. You have the badshahs of comedy, Sunil Pal, Raju Shrivastava, Ehsaan Qureshi, all taken from television's Laughter Challenge, joined by Asrani, Vijay Raaz, Jagdeep and Paintal. But unfortunately you don't have a proper story in place for them to truly show their skill. A comedy film is not only about one-liners, there has to be reason for the one-liners in the first instance. The film's screenplay is weak in this area.
Bombay to Goa is the story of Lal (Sunil Pal) and Das (Vijay Raaz). Lal has dreams of starting his own business and earning fame. Das, on the other hand, a driver, has just chucked his job as he cannot stand his boss. Lal wins Rs 2 lakh in a contest and both friends decide to start a business. They initially plan to start a travel agency but realize it would mean a lot more money. So they settle on getting a bus for themselves. They purchase old spare parts of cars and assemble a bus. The intention is to run the bus from Bombay to Goa. They even manage to rope in 15 passengers. On catching sight of the ramshackle bus, the passengers demand their money back. But the friends are able to persuade them with the lie that it is a pick-up bus and so the journey begins. One of the passengers, played by MacMohan, dies. But before doing that he tells the passengers about a hidden treasure. Thence begins the confusion and the utter chaos.
Naturally with so many comedians around, the writer has been tempted to pen one-liners and many hilarious scenes. So we have one-liners in galore as well as double entendres. The comedy is witty in places and hilarious in some others, but on a general note, the quality of the jokes is quite dismal. The danger with so many comedians around is that instead of a film, what you have is a gag-a-minute instead! And if that's what one is looking for, then it would be a better idea to watch Laughter Challenge instead.
Comedy is a much harder genre to tackle successfully than any other. Hindi films has seen many successful comedies like Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Padosan, Golmaal, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Hera Pheri among others. Bombay to Goa lags way behind in comparison. But it's not really the fault of the performers. Raju Shrivastav, Sudhir Pande and Sunil Pal, for instance, are quite funny. Vijay Raaz has definitely seen better days. The veterans Asrani, Tinnu Anand and Shakti Kapoor are fairly decent. It is the quality of writing which lets the film down.
You cannot construct a film around one-liners alone. Your comedian is only as good as the lines that he has to play around with. The gags seem to go on and on and the director never knows when to say 'enough'. It just then gets too tedious and monotonous. The quality of laughter suffers and there it a challenge to sit through it all.