Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge: Contrived comedy
There were no overly dramatic situations, no comedians, no toilet humour and yet, there was so much laughter in that film.
Since then, many a filmmaker has tried to capture that elusive charm of Mukherjee’s cinema, naming their films after his, borrowing concepts, but few have come close.
Perhaps these filmmakers forget the cardinal rule of laughter — it doesn’t work if you try too hard.
Laughter must be found in daily situations, it cannot be forced on the characters or the audience by contrived situations, something that Mukherjee seemed to know instinctively.
Ashwni Dhir, the director of “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge” falls in the same trap. He takes what could have been a potentially humorous situation — the arrival of an unwanted guest and the havoc he wreaks on a nuclear family of three — and turns it into a contrived comedy that uses liberal doses of crass toilet humour and not a single good comedy scene.
Ajay Devgn plays Punit, a film writer who lives with his wife Munmun and their son Ayush in a typical Mumbai apartment. Their lives are thrown in a tizzy when a man who claims to be a distant relative of Punit lands up at their doorstep and doesn’t seem to want to leave. The couple try every trick in the book to get rid of Lambodar chacha (Paresh Rawal), but don’t succeed.
I am still trying to answer a question many people have asked me. What is an actress like Konkona Sen Sharma doing in a film like this? To be fair, she does put in a sincere effort, as does Devgn.
Paresh Rawal hams it up in some places, but all the performances are let down by the main culprit — the script which fails to bring up even one comedy sequence worth remembering.
Watch this only if you must.