Rascals Movie Review: Ridiculous, Rude ‘Rascals’
(Ratings: Poor * Average ** Good *** Very Good**** Excellent *****)
So, the lord of lowbrow returns, with another comedy meant to inspire insipid giggles and tickles. Alas, while his endless string of 'No.1' films might have hit the big time fifteen years ago, time seems to have been cruel to David Dhawan, with his latest, 'Rascals', eking out little more than a few polite smiles and a whole lot of tired sighs from a tested audience.
With Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn cast as the titular 'Rascals', the film seems to be Dhawan's attempt at reclaiming lost glory, his plot almost picking up from where one of his better comedies in the '90s, 'Deewana Mastana', left off. However, the film suffers from some very shoddy humour, which borders on the tasteless, pulling gags at the expense of groups like the blind and the armed forces, along with a load of terrible acting.
The film's plot seems to be pulled entirely from the Michael Caine-Steve Martin starrer classic 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', plotting Dutt and Devgn opposite each other as two conmen competing to complete a job on a wealthy heiress type, played by Kangna Ranaut. Interestingly, the Hollywood comedy has already been freemade in B'town before, as the Madhuri Dixit-Anil Kapoor starrer 'Khel', back in the '90s. Why David chooses to cull his plot from the film, therefore, is a real mystery.
In any case, Dhawan's storyline sees Dutt and Devgn cast as rival conmen, Chetan Chauhan, and Bhagat Bhonsle, respectively. Collectively, they are 'Chetan-Bhagat'. Yes, har-har-giggle-giggle. The twosome meet on their way to Singapore, where both are headed after pulling a con on a gangster type played by Arjun Rampal, as Anthony, who is hot on their trail now. While the two already start with their tricks on each other, the rivalry really picks up when both spot a wealthy heiress called Khushi, played by Kangana Ranaut, and can't help but try to pull a con on her. So, starts the game of one-upmanship, with Dutt masquerading as a 'charitable' new-age guru who advocates the 'art of giving' and Devgn pretends to be a blind ex-serviceman who lost his vision due to unrequited love. In between, Lisa Haydon enters the scene in a random, inexplicable manner, all to indulge in some passable skin show.
Much of Dhawan's 'humour' comes from lame and tasteless gags, like the blind running marathons and botched suicide attempts. More often than not, the director seems to think that the laughs lie in repetition and high-pitched yelping, with Devgn and Dutt literally shouting out the jokes to each other. Both the lead actors are confirmed great actors; here, however, both of them seem to be in a game to see who can ham more than the other. In that department, Ajay Devgn 'wins', outhamming Sanjay by a mile, as Dutt gets better lines and gags than him.
The film gets uncomfortable at points, as it pairs the two middle-aged heroes with a nubile Kangana Ranaut, whose sole purpose here seems to be to indulge in the most generous skin-show she can muster up, the director filling the script with scenes where she has to appear in bikini tops and less. Ranaut shares a plausible chemistry with neither leading man, and after a point, one has to wonder whether this simply isn't a comedy about dirty old men, really. This feeling is only exasperated with the entry of Lisa Haydon, whose two-scene character really doesn't have much to do apart from dance around and be really generous with her cleavage shots.
The others, Arjun Rampal, Chunkey Pandey, Hiten Paintal, Bharti Achrekar, and Dhawan's mascot, Satish Kaushik, come in at various levels on the hamming scale, all quite terrible. Chunkey's 'gujjubhai' act is funny initially, though it grossly repetitive rather quickly.
'Rascals' seems to be something that David Dhawan churned out in five minutes, simply on a dare. Or perhaps, the film was shot just so the cast and crew could vacation in Bangkok. It's the latter, in all probability, as the film's chief star seems to be the Pan Pacific Bangkok hotel that it's shot at. However, if you're looking for an introduction to Bangkok, along with some giggles, might one suggest picking up a Lonely Planet guide, along with a joke book? Clearly, David Dhawan's latest is a no-go…!
Release Date : 06 October 2011
Director : David Dhawan
Genre : Action , Comedy