Poster Boys: Crass comedy and over-the-top dialogues spoil’s Shreyas Talpade’s directorial debut
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi(Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
When critically-acclaimed actor Shreyas Talpade dons the director’s hat with a Hindi remake of Marathi comedy film Poster Boyz (which was produced by Talpade), you do have certain expectations from it. But sadly, the film does not meet standards at all and quashes all hopes. It takes on a sensitive subject, elicits a few genuine laughs out of the audience before it begins to settle for a silly and juvenile brand of comedy. Somewhere amidst its loud and crass jokes, it loses sight of its premise, leading you to stretched out and plastered sequences of comedy where the lead actors make constant references to their previous films. From being a light-hearted entertainer, it reduces itself into an unbearably loud human circus that has no sense of purpose.
Poster Boys follows the lives of three men. Jaagavar Chaudhary (Sunny Deol), a retired Army Officer with a weird penchant for selfies. Chaudhary is gearing up for his sister’s engagement. Bobby Deol plays Vinay Sharma, an absent-minded teacher, who is either fighting with his wife or is in the presence of children, who are constantly making fun of him. The third character in the film is Arjun Singh (Shreyas Talpade himself), who is a recovery agent by professional and is waiting to get a nod of approval for marriage from his would-be in-laws.
The film introduces these characters, who are based out of a village called Jangheti, and then shows how their lives turn upside down overnight. Chaudhary’s sister’s engagement is called off, Sharma’s wife leaves him and Singh is insulted and dismissed by his prospective in-laws. They realize that recent spate of unfortunate incidents is due to them being inadvertently featured in a public service ad for vasectomy. Here on, the three men unite to fight the system responsible for their character assassination.
Why is loudness interpreted as funny in Indian Cinema? The Deol duo and Talpade constantly deliver innuendos in high-pitched frequencies. Even if you can get past all the yelling, their jokes are still immensely immature and silly. Humor in Poster Boys is often conceived with a terrifying vision of Bobby Deol sporting Hello Kitty Sweatpants. As though that isn’t juvenile enough, Sunny Deol is found striking a Marilyn Monroe pose. Once they throw in a few more jokes on buffalo sex, the horrors of sitting through the film get alarmingly real.
The screenplay is immensely weak as it doesn’t really give time to establish the characters and context and directly plunges into the incident that is set to change their lives forever.
It immediately makes you compare it with last week’s release Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, that took up a sensitive subject and handed it perfectly with a certain light-handedness without jeopardizing its premise. But in Poster Boys, the most important issue is submerged under layers of puerile comedy and absolutely non-palatable innuendoes.
The second half of the film gets unbearable and goes off-track. It bears self-conscious comedy sequences and unrelated references to Sunny and Bobby Deol’s previous films. Bobby’s soldier ringtone for instance feels completely unrelated to the premise of the film. Due to this detour the film takes, sequences start to feel awfully stretched out.
Poster Boys also showcases typical Bollywood clichés. For one, the film begins with an item song. The three central characters each get conventional introductory scenes and lastly, there are plenty of filmy flashbacks too. The comedy gets all the more obnoxious when the three characters start to compare their rebellion to that of freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.
As Jaagavar Chaudhary, Sunny Deol has a great comic timing and makes you laugh at various instances. But his rural accent is forced and disturbing. His incessant pouting too is quite an awkward sight. Bobby Deol portrayal of the absent-mindedness does draw a few laughs here and there. Despite his great track record, Shreyas is too loud and awkward in his own directorial venture and infact, is pretty much-sidelined by Deol brothers.
Music director Tanishk Bagchi, who has been on a hit run with Bareilly ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan fails to deliver a hat-trick with this film. Just like the film, its music is jarringly loud and definitely, not something you would listen to.
On the whole, Poster Boys is a silly film. From its sleazy caption to the overdone climax, nothing will urge you to take this film seriously.