Director: Paritosh Painter
Cast: Javed Jaffrey, Shreyas Talpade, Aashish Chaudhary, Vatsal Seth, Celina Jaitley, Riya Sen, Sayali Bhagat, Neha Dhupia, Asrani, Johnny Lever
Storyline: Out of work buddies pretend to be married couples for a roof over their heads
Bottomline: Front bencher’s delight.
If you’re a girl, you will sound like a bird by the end of the film, going “Cheap,” “Cheap,” “Cheap” every few moments. The film’s so “Cheap” that most boys wouldn’t find a better bargain in the movie halls this season (at least till The Hangover releases).
Right from the posters (Javed Jaffrey is seen pinching bottoms), you know what to expect. It’s unabashedly male in its approach, thoroughly sexist and completely sexed up, Paying Guests is the definitive anti-thesis to the chick flick genre – what Hollywood and American film studies today refer to as the dick flick – popularised by Judd Apatow, Mike Myers, Kevin Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and the likes.
By no means can Paying Guests be called good cinema. But it’s great entertainment nonetheless, a gloriously cheap celebration of political incorrectness.
Paritosh Painter adapts his play to the big screen with all the clichés you can find in silly Bollywood comedies over the decades.
Out of work guys who can’t pay rent. Check.
Men in drag, equipped with Tennis balls. Check.
Clown with a lisp. Check.
Character who unwittingly uses wrong English words (like Welding instead of
Wedding, Infection instead of Introduction). Check.
Speaking Hindi in a Tamil accent. Check.
Slip-and-fall routines. Check.
Walking-into-a-glass-door comedy. Check.
Walking-into-a-pole humour. Check.
Bitching-only-to-find-the-person-behind-their-back laughs. Check.
Caught-without-pants gags. Check.
Also, everyone speaks as if Hindi is the new national language of Thailand and there’s a full-blown “Dude Where’s My Car” rip-off. Remember the two guys with tattoos on their back that say “Dude” and “Sweet” respectively sparking off an endless loopy scene with the duo quizzing each other on what the other one’s tattoo says?
Here, the trio live in a house called Kisska House and someone ultimately has to come and ask the tenants who owns the house. If you can laugh at that joke, you will survive till the end.
However stale the jokes are, they work and only because of the fantastic actors that Shreyas Talpade, Javed Jaffrey and Aashish Chaudhary are. Their comic timing is impeccable, whether it is physical comedy, the bad puns or the casual quips and the gang makes these series of gags you’ve seen before immensely watchable.
Liked Apna Sapna Money Money?
Well, this one unfolds like a fanboy tribute to that film as Javed Jaffrey’s ringtone goes “Dekha Jo Tujhe Yaar Dil Main Baji Guitar” and later, Ritiesh Deshmukh in drag on TV gives one of them the brainwave – to make their friends dress in drag since the landlord would rent out portions only to married couples.
Soon, Shreyas and Javed become Karisma and Kareena. Try as hard as you may not to be amused, you will fail.
The guys are a blast and the girls have nothing else to do apart from prancing around wearing the shortest clothes ever made and going over the top. Come on, when you know a film that casts both Riya Sen and Celina Jaitley… and Neha Dhupia for a bonus, you ought to know what’s in store. Miss Sayali Bhagat, please don’t ever try to act. You’re scaring the kids away.
When Riya Sen sporting the skimpiest top she can find, sobs and asks for a hanky, you wonder if she’s asking for a change of clothes. It’s that kind of a movie.
The climax itself is a decent reprisal of Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and as corny and cheesy as it gets, you will find it impossible to stifle a grin. The film’s peppered with comic talents – Paintal, Johnny Lever, Chunky Pandey, Delnaaz Paul and the volume of laughs make up for the quality.
So it’s easier to simply surrender to this madness and have a good time with the boys. Go sloshed for better results.