Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?
Film: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Konkana Sen Sharma, Paresh Rawal
Direction: Ashwini Dhir
Duration: 1 hour 58 minutes
Story: Puneet and Munmun, an archetypal nuclear family, find their ordered life being shaken apart when they have a visitor, Chachaji, who refuses to leave their house, despite an extended stay. Will they miss him when he goes?
Movie Review: Neat. Subtle. And softly funny. Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge is quite unlike the hysterical laugh acts that have been trying terribly hard to make you laugh in recent Bollywood. More of a chuckle-and-a-smirk drama, this one doesn't even try to convince you that life is all ha-ha-he-he. Instead, it creates situations and characters that fill you with warmth and make you smile with the familiar quirkiness of recognisable situations.
Now when was the last time you pulled your hair out when your `unwanted' relatives from Gorakhpur, or any other small town, landed in your pint-sized flat with their pet peeves and infuriating habits. Like gargling before the break of dawn, creating man-made floods in your tiny washroom or converting your favourite window into a make-shift clothesline...Well, that's what our avuncular Chachaji (Paresh Rawal) does when he arrives unannounced at friend Putani's son, Pappu's (Ajay Devgn) house. Pappu's uptown wife (Konkana Sen Sharma) is soon forced to fry pakoras and play hostess to his neighbourhood friends who are naturally drawn irresistibly to this friendly old man who has a grandma's remedy for all their cures and a bhajan for all their woes. It doesn't take long for anger to be replaced by genuine warmth, as Chachaji carries with him a whole culture into the antiseptic flat which had hitherto housed a family that was simply running in a rat race.
Paresh Rawal leads the gentle humour brigade that finds great foot soldiers in the likes of Devgn (restrained and likeable), Konkana (earthy and grounded), Satish Kaushik (watchable) and Sanjay Mishra (impressive). Is it truly back to the 1980s for Bollywood comedies? Wait and watch out for some more of the Basu Chatterjee-Hrishikesh Mukherjee brand revival.
A word about:
Performances: Paresh Rawal's pitches a picture perfect Chachaji, while Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra are immensely watchable.
Story: Robin Bhatt and Tushar Hiranandani pick up a familiar tale and give it a refreshing twist.
Dialogues: The humour is gentle and subtle and never tries to drown you with its desperation to make you laugh.
Styling: Upper middle class Mumbai fashion meets mofussil town chaddis and dhotis.
Inspiration: The 1980s family-ishtyle comedies of Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee.