'3' Mean Siblings Stay Funny 'Bhai'?
By MovieTalkies.com, 14 April 2011
The smart comedy is a rare phenomenon in Bollywood, it seems. Facing the onslaught of silly slapstick films that have dominated the genre over the last decade, intelligent comedies seem to have all but taken the exit route out of B'town, though the odd 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' type film does still put in an appearance at the box office every once in a while. With marquee producer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra backing him and three versatile and fairly gifted actors, Om Puri, Deepak Dobriyal and Shreyas Talpade toplining it, debutant director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba must be hoping his film, '3 Thay Bhai', is counted as one, though.
On paper, at least, Lamba's plot sounds like a winner. Three brothers, Chixie, Happy and Fancy Gill, thoroughly estranged and all uniformly down and out on their luck, are brought together by their recently deceased grandfather's will, which leaves them a fabulous fortune. But…the catch is that the terms of the inheritance call upon the trio, who simply can't stand each other, to put aside their differences and spend some time reconnecting with each other in a desolate, snowed out cabin up in the mountains. Unsurprisingly, hijinks ensue.
Also, Lamba and writing collaborators Mehul Suri and Gautam Mehra, get it spot on with their characterisations. Om Puri is perfectly cast as the bullying, boorish businessman elder brother Chixie and Deepak Dobriyal is a revelation as the reticent dentist middle brother, Happy, who still pines for the lovely village lass he could never marry, Gurleen Kaur, played by the debuting Ragini Khanna. Dobriyal's quiet and quirky Happy is in direct contrast to his last role as the showstealing Pappi in 'Tanu Weds Manu'. Shreyas as the talk English walk English airheaded aspiring actor, Fancy, is responsible for quite a few of the laughs '3 Thay Bhai' gets in its first half, while Yograj Singh, star of Punjabi cinema and father to the famous cricket ace Yuvraj, also gets it right in his Bollywood debut as the almost tyrannical dead 'dadaji' in flashbacks.
Where the film slips, however, is in its sheer execution. Even though the three leads of the film play off each other superbly, Lamba's editing sense makes all the difference. Lax at its best, the editing makes the plot drag its feet through the film. Though the gag lines come at fairly regular intervals in the first half, the second half comes through in pauses, as the film starts to lose steam once the brothers step out of the cabin. Scenes like the one where the brothers inadvertently eat contraband laced 'paranthas' and their interrogation in the police station are stretched till they lose their punch. Gags like Talpade's broken, nay, fractured English are also whipped like dead horses, though this isn't quite an editing issue and is something for Lamba, Suri and Mehra.
Musically, the film is made by its title number, '3 Thay Bhai', which Daler Mehndi renders in two versions for the film, both quite addictive. The song sets the mood for quite a few scenes and singer Sukhwinder Singh, who is in the music director's seat with Ranjit Barot here, deserves kudos.
Trying to pack a funny punch, what '3 Thay Bhai' brings instead is a comedic pinch. Perhaps one can write the film's shortcomings up to first time director Mrighdeep's relative inexperience; Lamba certainly shows potential and his next one might be something to keep an eye out for. Still, with the superb Om Puri in the cast and the demonstratively hilarious Dobriyal in the driver's seat, '3 Thay Bhai' could have been a much better, a much funnier film. While it sets out to be a smart comedy, the marks it fetches are strictly average.