Film: Hey Bro
Cast: Ganesh Acharya, Prem Chopra, Maninder Singh
Director: Ajay Chandhok
Here’s the situation in a nutshell: Someone decided to remake the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Danny DeVito movie Twins, turn it into a Bollywood masala product, and cast choreographer Ganesh Acharya in the role of DeVito.
With that historical background, it would be unfair to expect a lot from the film. But even with the expectations set to a bare minimum, it doesn’t manage to render a morsel of entertainment. Hey Bro is a Holi release, but instead of being a colourful event film it ends up being a broken pichkari, as unimaginative as its title.
The story is exactly the same as Twins — an oversized, slow but sweet-natured chap is told by his father that he has a twin brother in another city who was separated from him at birth. The chap sets off to find him, only to realise that the twin looks nothing like him, but is a perfect alpha male.
Acharya, in this case, plays Gopi, who, at his f ather’s (Prem Chopra) behest, travels from Rajasthan to Mumbai to find Shiv (played by Maninder Singh). Predictable fat jokes follow; there is the initial disbelief at them being twins, the initial rejection by the fitter brother because of the other’s size, and the eventual ‘incident’ that brings them together in bromance.
Also tossed in are a bunch of unnecessary songs, including an item one starring Mahie Gill. There’s a lame attempt at creating an antagonist (Hanif Hilal, sword specialist), and an even lamer attempt at shoehorning in a love interest / sidekick in the form of Nupur Sharma.
The comedy consistently fails to deliver. There are a couple of mildly interesting scenes when Gopi is still on the hunt, but even those barely register as a giggle.
In the name of comedy, Acharya is over the top, makes weird faces and eats a lot of food. Even in an industry that consistently fails at this genre, this film is tryingly tedious.
Twins was f un because of the deadpan charm that Schwarzenegger brought to the table, and the liveliness of DeVito. Maninder, by contrast, is placed in a dozen baffling slow-motion scenes, the kind you’d expect in a Salman Khan movie, and fizzles in every one. It doesn’t help that every comedic moment is underlined by irritating sound cues or reactionary cutaways.
Post-interval, it becomes an even harder watch because the film suddenly loses its comedic tone and begins to, believe it or not, take itself seriously.
The only times Hey Bro comes alive is when its bevy of guest stars, including Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Prabhudheva and Amitabh Bachchan, show up for their cameos, offering brief respite and lifting you out of your by-then-comatose state.
At all other times, it is an excruciating slog. Perhaps it’s time for Acharya to return to choreography.