Bheja too fried up

Jun 18, 2011

Bheja Fry 2 Direction: Sagar Bellary Cast: Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon The first part, the surprise commercial success of 2007, had a lot going for it. There was a good performer (Vinay Pathak) on board — a part adorable, part pesky character (Bharat Bhushan) in the screenplay.

The pic had a plot, courtesy a French original, The Dinner Game (1998).

This dull second part, which already seems belated, has the same lead actor. But check out the number of movies in which he’s roughly played that simple idiot, common man’s part since: Chalo Dilli, Utt Patang, Dasvidaniya… Bharat Bhushan, fully stretching it then, seems more annoying, peskier, than his role may demand.

Here’s why. The sequel’s forced the filmmakers to look for a plot on their own. I’m not sure if they did find one eventually. At least I can’t quite find it in the film.

Music lover Bharat Bhushan meets a woman (Minissha Lamba) who could be his soul mate. Her father’s called Malhar, mother Bhairavi, she’s herself Ranjini, named after another classical raag. Her grandfather Shantanu-da played violin for Shankar Jaikishen. Which is good to know. Except, that’s not what this film is vaguely about. It could’ve been.

What’s it then? Bhushanji’s won a television quiz show like Salman’s Dus Ka Dum. He’s on a cruise liner (with his girl, a TV exec). One of the passengers on board is a business tycoon (Kay Kay Menon), who has now invested heavily in the media industry.

Because, he says, there may be 130 TV stations on air right now, television ratings (TRPs) still don’t top 8 (which is a low number, given it means only 8% of the surveyed households). Clearly something’s missing in the content, he suggests. He could say that about the movie he’s in as well.

Our everyman hero Bhushan, if you recall, is an inspector from the ‘aykar vibhag’ (income tax department). The said tycoon, a serious tax evader, wants him dead. He wants to throw this IT inspector off the cruise liner. He does manage to. But he falls into the ocean as well.

The pic, entire second half thereafter, goes off into another tangent altogether. Bizman (Kay Kay) and Bhushan have only each other for company now. It’s like that Guy Ritchie Madonna tribute Swept Away? No. It’s like nothing. 

Bhushanji, you know, will be fine. He packs into his bandi (sleeveless under-short) Vicko turmeric, Swiss knife and other assortments for circumstances such as these. What about the audience? 

There are few things possibly worse than being stuck with two actors in a deserted island, when both seem out of sorts, because there really is no screenplay to take their performances forward, let alone any funny lines. Being also stuck with a cranky Bengali bozo (Amol Gupte), who owns a house in the same island, and Bhushan’s office colleague (Suresh Menon), who’s undeniably, understandably hamming it up.

Hangover 2, similarly a sequel to another sleeper hit, with precisely the same plot as the first, could still make you laugh in parts (or at least it did me). This one makes you believe in benefits of plagiarism alone. Knock-offs have delivered for Indians, fine films in the past.

May as well steal ideas then. What on earth’s this?