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Mayank Shekhar's review: Teen Thay Bhai

movie reviews Updated: Apr 16, 2011 11:59 IST
Mayank Shekhar
Mayank Shekhar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Don’t. Even. Ask.

Teen Thay Bhai
Director: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Actors: Om Puri, Deepak Dobriyal, Shreyas Talpade
Rating: *

Three brothers hop on to bikes, hitching a ride on a highway in Himachal. The biker, who’s given a lift to Shreyas Talpade’s character, it turns out, is a gori (white) girl. It’s amazing! He can’t believe his luck. Right then, imitating the iconic kissing scene from the Alicia Silverstone Aerosmith video, he pulls himself forward, spreads his legs wide open before the biker’s seat, gawks at the woman’s breasts that read ‘Guess’, for her jacket’s brand name. “Guess?” he remarks, “Silicone.” She says ya. He gets off.

Eh? Don’t. Even. Ask. It’s been over an hour of sheer nothingness since the film started, and none, including me, could care less to figure what’s going on. Let me try. Over a sequence before, these men had polished off plenty of parathas with “merijuaana” in it. Hot hippies, who’d appeared from thin air, had offered them the stuff. They ran away. The police caught these guys instead.

Ever seen one of those tennis racquets sold at roadsides, which give out electric shocks to kill flies? These fellows manage to shove one of those instruments up a top cop’s bum while in jail. They’re on the run now. So you figure. Nope, it’s still not comedy, when there’s no context.

Om Puri, the actor, if I’m not mistaken, turns 61 in October this year. Om’s co-stars in this film, Talpade and Deepak Dobriyal, in real life, are both in their mid-30s. That the three of them have been brought in as brothers from birth, who pretty much grew up together, defies only logic behind casting -- not frontiers of medical science. So you don’t question.

It’s the public flogging of some of the finest actors in cinema right now that gets your goat. They play losers in their own right. One of them (Om) has three fat daughters to marry off. The second bloke (Dobriyal) is a hopeless dentist, born with an odd fetish for ironing clothes. Excuse me? The third one’s (Talpade) a Punjabi regional film actor, with particular love for a pet dog, broken English, Hollywood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Alta vista, baby!” Hmmm.

The trio – Chixy, Happy, Fancy – from one Gill family had a one-eyed jack(ass) of a dada (for a grandfather), who’s just passed away. By casual estimates of how generations roughly work, a 61-year-old man’s granddad is likely to be at least in his early 100s. This gent, who just died, looked a fairly hail and hearty He-man to me.

He’s left behind a bizarre sort of will that instructs the three brothers, currently separated and estranged (Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited), to spend a couple of days at a dilapidated mountain bungalow for three years in a row (adapted from some play called Mad Madder Maddest). If they meet this minor condition, the said multi-crore property -- which if I heard right, is the mountain itself -- becomes theirs. The scene shifts straight into the third year.

The bros, with no food supply, but loads of cheap whiskey, keep tanking up from the bottle, when not tearing each other apart. Title track sounds mysteriously similar to Ibn battuta (from Ishqiya); background score bears neat sound of the slide guitar.

Old men, taking turns at obscure behaviour, stick moisturising cream up their nostrils; appear with face covered in coal; burn underwear (briefs, not boxers) from the y-front…. Cockfight carries on. Once in a while, you hear Om Puri break into his infamous “Haaa haa ha” (lol, from the incredible sitcom Kakkaji Kahin in the early ‘90s). For most parts, he lets out supposedly funny, loud, long farts. The longest one of course is this confounding flick itself. Sometimes, you wish filmmakers wrote their own reviews to enlighten us on exactly what they've made.