Santa Banta Pvt Ltd
Cast: Boman Irani, Vir Das, Neha Dhupia, Lisa Haydon
This film is accused of hurting a certain community’s sentiments, and one wonders why. I’ll tell you why: Because it’s so lethargic and unfunny that the audience cannot wait for it to end.
The plot is (thankfully) not complex: Santa (Irani) and Banta (Das) are two good-for-nothing bumbling Punjabis sent to rescue the kidnapped Indian High Commissioner in Fiji. The mission backfires because our heroes are ordinary, fun-loving crackpots rather than competent agents.
Of course, Santa-Banta jokes pepper this narrative, but the mere compilation of them does not work; they restrict the situational humour from blossoming. The screenplay is so shoddy that even Irani and Das seemed bored.
The (in)famous duo needed crafty characterisation to see them through for they were on a mission and not at a stand-up session. And in spite of an ensemble cast, no one was employed well.
Johnny Lever’s Nepali gangster made matters worse, but Vijay Raaz’s RAW agent act salvaged some of it.
Truck drivers, beer guzzlers, spontaneous dancers and simpletons - the movie has all the stereotypes. But in what could’ve been a 140-minute laugh riot, the actors ended up looking as confused as the plot.
The animation did little to enhance the film, almost reminiscent of films like Cash and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, where CGI birds emoted better than humans. The songs come as a respite, but even they are loud and lacked context.
To call it slapstick would be an insult to the audience’s sensibilities because the jokes are stale and the situations humourless.
The real outrage here is how can someone make a story with Santa-Banta, the epitome of two-liners, such a lacklustre affair?
Watch trailer here:
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