MERE DAD KI MARUTI
Direction: Ashima Chibber
Actors: Ram Kapoor, Saqib Saleem, Prabal Punjabi, Rhea Chakraborty
Rating: * 1/2
A Honey Singh track claims something to the effect that Punjabis have their batteries charged 24x7. You understand when that becomes the next big party anthem in north India. But when it captures the essence and intent of a film, you know the bar’s set rather low.
Sameer (Saqib Saleem) and Gattu (Prabal Punjabi) are not the brightest kids on the block. So when they lose a car after a party, they go about trying to fix things with harebrained schemes. The similarity to the brilliantly absurd Ashton Kutcher-starrer, Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), begins and ends there. There is no pot-induced memory loss or dim-wittedness here. Those qualities seem to be in-built features.
The saving grace, such as it is, is the dad, Mr Khullar, a ‘chipda’ (miserly), whisky-loving, politician-bashing, middle-class man, played rather convincingly by Ram Kapoor. He is easily the standout actor, completely in-character (the natural pot belly helps here) as he berates Sameer, his ‘nalayak’ son, calling him a ‘burger’.
Dad has just bought a new, “fully loaded” Maruti that he plans to give to his future son-in-law as a wedding gift.
Trouble, then, is to be expected when Sameer sneaks the car out in the middle of his sister’s wedding preparations, and proceeds to lose it. After the initial panic, he decides that his solution lies in keeping his dad in the dark, rather than in trying to find the missing automobile.
His attempts at covering up the truth set a comedy of errors in motion, involving, among other things, the police, a car-rental service and a don.
The predictable storyline could have done with more absurdity. The laughs are provided mostly by one-liners, extensions of the Honey Singh brand of humour, like ‘Wax kiya to darna kya?’ and ‘Are you love me? I’m love you.’
In essence, the problem with …Maruti isn’t the parts. It’s the whole.
It is perhaps telling that we watched it in the company of a group of college kids who had bunked class on a Friday morning. They seemed to speak the film’s lingo, literally. They even sat through the closing credit roll. Though we suspect that may have had more to do with how much time they had to kill.