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Review: Hari Puttar

Well, even those who go with zilch expectations are likely to curse the moment they bought a ticket for this Puttarnama directed by Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj, writes Khalid Mohamed.

movie reviews Updated: Sep 26, 2008 19:51 IST
Khalid Mohamed

Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors
Cast: Zain Khan, Sarika, Bowl of Smelly Yellow Porridge
Direction: Lucky Kohli, Rajesh Bajaj
Rating: *

How now. Here’s a Shamita Shetty cabaret meant for extraterrestrials, not for this planet’s kids or adults. Goons break into dirty lingo (bleep-bleeped by the censors but still). And there’s much nudge-nudge-wink-wink about a kid catching dear old Lilette Dubey with her sari pallu down. Frown.

So there you are kicking yourself for wandering into Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors. But hey, what did you expect? A masterpiece? Well, even those who go with zilch expectations are likely to curse the moment they bought a ticket for this Puttarnama directed by Lucky Kohli (not lucky for the audience) and Rajesh Bajaj.

Imagine it took two to bang-o this blather which cadges its premise, rather late in the day, from Home Alone (1990). Keep your fingers crossed that Macaulay Culkin doesn’t tour India soon. He’d flip. And flap.

Okay, so you stepped into Pitter Puttar strictly in the line of duty, watched this mirthless stuff and have guesstimated that obviously someone or the other in Britain had stacks of euros to blow up on this tide of terrors, set in a B-grade manor. Immediately, you meet Sarika (trying to look interested), Boy Zain Khan in the title role and the aforementioned Liletteji trying to be Padma Khanna of yore. Or make that Jayshree T.

This isn’t SO bad. Wait till you encounter (three or was it four?) Brit babes breaking into a very scary Bollywood number. In addition, there are a couple of Brit kids who think they’re in a school play, a spiked hair chap more slippery than gel, a girl with asthma (look what Cheeni Kum did to Swini Khera). And there’s a moppet who appears out of the blue and vanishes as if he suddenly disapproved of the script. Smart.

Among the adults count Saurabh Shukla in a fright Diana Ross wig, and Vijay Raaz, expressionless as if were in a trance. Jackie Shroff drops by to guzzle a few pink gins and goes ho-ho-ho like Santa Claus (too early). Hari Puttar’s dad (Greying Hair) is in a jungle talking about delicious chips which have more to do with computers than with French fries. And you just can’t miss an Ajit mimic, wearing only one blue contact lens, implying that there wasn’t enough budget for the other. Eye say.

There’s no plot really except for the fact that Vijay Raaz gets something like last year’s yellow porridge dumped on his head. Meanwhile bewigged Saurabh Shukla keeps passing wind (stink stink). And you certainly can’t miss an elderly man in a garbage collector’s uniform who announces that his son hasn’t met him in ages. Very understandable that.

In the technical department, the ‘live’ animation interludes are okay. The music is nothing to dance about. Oi, but composer Adesh Srivastava performs an item number, presumably because Malaika Arora-Khan couldn’t spare the dates. To be honest, these are more words than this putter-patter deserved. So here’s closing quickly with the recommendation -- no, no, no, no, no, never.