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Upperstall Review


Phas Gaye Re Obama


Hindi, Comedy, 2010, Color

Cast And Crew

The film traces the journey of Om Shashtri (Rajat Kapoor), an American citizen of Indian origin, who loses all his wealth overnight to the global recession & has been asked to vacate his home by the bank unless he pays up $100,000 within 30 days. Seeing no other option, Om comes to India to sell a small piece of an ancestral property. But within days of landing in India he is kidnapped by a 'recession-hit' underworld gang who think that he is still a millionaire...

This really is turning out to be the year of independent films in Bollywood. Ask people to name the better films seen in 2010, and Tere Bin Laden, Peepli Live, and Udaan role off the tongue first up. And you can add Phas Gaye Re Obama to the list now.

This is a neatly made film, where everything the makers worked towards for seems to have come together. An original premise and a well written script executed with conviction and a terrific ensemble to pull it off. The most notable thing about it is that it does not aspire to be something else. In the way it's characters are so comfortable with who they are, in the laidback way that events unfold, and the easy pace that that it merrily rattles on, there is an endearing quality that makes watching this film a pretty enjoyable experience all the way through.

We follow the fortunes of a recession hit rural kidnapping gang and a bankrupt NRI coming to India to sell his house and raise some money, as they try to fraud their way to easy cash from a multitude of kidnapping gangs, each bigger than the next. The film has an even graph, in that there really are no major emotional highs or lows. But the dialogue is funny in a very real way, and fits the characters and their settings perfectly. It's one of the reasons why the film flows so smoothly. This combination of real people saying real things in unreal situations can be hilarious, clearly, but so many have struggled to get it right that credit goes to the filmmakers here for doing the job almost all the way through. And when they do break away from the 'real', it's the bizarre - like Neha Dhupia's man hating, sculpture breaking dacoit or Amol Gupte's tantric chanting CM / professional kidnapping pro. It works.

The film and its characters are never short of ideas, and there always seems to be a way of going from one situation to another in a believable manner. It's one of the good things about the film and that's why the ending is a bit of a disappointment. The filmmakers clearly take a short cut to get out one last fix, even if it's witty and makes you smile.

In spite of the comparisons and it's premise, this is not an out and out farce like Tere Bin Laden, and is in fact a more mature treatment of the material at hand. But this is a film very comfortable in its own skin, and so it's probably futile to try and compare it to any other film. Enjoy it for what it is, because you can.

Upperstall review by: Mr Care

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