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Upperstall Review


Desi Boyz


Hindi, Comedy, Drama, 2011, Color

The year is 2009. The world has been struck by the financial meltdown. But Nick Mathur (John Abraham) and Jerry Patel (Akshay Kumar) don't feel a thing in their comfortable pad in London. Nick feels smug with his successful investment banking job, the new bonus in his pocket and his beautiful fiance, Radhika (Deepika Padukone), by his side, while Jerry is so used to scraping the bottom of the barrel and living off his best buddy Nick, that recession feels like home. Nick and Jerry stop smiling the day Nick's company decides to downsize and unceremoniously fires him. And Jerry is informed by the Social Services that his nephew Veer, whose local guardian Jerry is, will be placed in a foster home unless he gets a steady job...

Just like hype kills a film, low expectations can sometimes redeem one. This almost happened with Desi Boyz. The first half hour was serious effort then. The story and plot are pretty lame, but Rohit Dhawan's treatment had quite a few moments of spark and pizzazz. A Bollywood comedy where the director doesn't insult the intelligence of his audience is a rarity, and for those first few scenes when we're introduced to the gang and the plot is setup, Desi Boyz feels like there is someone who's put in thought and is in control of what to do with the film. The flashback sequence and the scene showing John's deteriorating fortunes are nicely executed. Give Akshay some decently written lines, he will show you funny. And though John struggles to act, even his Hunter appearance was whistle worthy.

Alas, the goodness runs out all too soon. In trying to flesh out a love story between John and Deepika, and an emotional one between Akshay and his piddu nephew, the film fizzles out. John and Deepika's entire track becomes a stuck tape, simply refusing to go anywhere. Omi's character tries hard to play it forward, but to no avail. And in the mean time, Akshay goes to college. There's enough rip worthy opportunities with this twist, but Chitrangada's absolutely senseless and random character almost makes you forgive the insanity. There is not much acting to do, but she is effortlessly stunning. Clearly, putting in the strip quiz scene was a no brainer for the writers. Alas, again. The last 20 minutes of courtroom 'drama' undoes whatever positive memories you may have of the film. It's not that it's farcical, it's just that the writing is so unfunny that the idea of having a funny courtroom sequence falls flat on its face.

Akshay Kumar does his best in Desi Boyz, and he's pretty funny playing the goofball hero, a character he now owns. Other than the perfectly pitched pole dance, John makes an effort, and it looks like he's making an effort. Especially in direct contrast with Akshay's spot on timing. Comedy is tough, and he's got a long, long way to go. The girls are purely cosmetic value, and Anupam Kher has an extended holiday in London. The only other thing worth a mention is the music. It's catchy, especially the You're My Hero number.

In a Jekyll and Hyde fashion, the writing and execution of the first bit of the film are polar opposites of what follows later. Instead of sticking to the outlandish plotline of both protagonists becoming male escorts and following this till the end, Rohit chooses to force romance and emotion in a script which has no place for them. In the bargain, he loses out on the funny. And without the funny, this on's not worth your money.

Upperstall review by: Mr Care

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