By Hindustan Times
Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap
Director: Puri Jagannath
Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Sood
You may have seen this bizarreness in the promos. Describing his relationship with Mumbai, “We’ve gotten wet in the rains together,” Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijju (or is it Birju, Bijju, Virju?), a poor parody of his old self, says: These days, newbies ("naya bachcha log”) copy my style, my songs… He then breaks into Khaike paan Banaraswala, which is of course from Don, recently remade with Shah Rukh Khan in the central role. A medley of Bachchan’s old songs follow.
This fellow, we’re told, and now I’m talking about the character and not the actor (though the two are inseparable, as it were), is the “founder member of the Mumbai mafia.” He seems more the first citizen of ‘Tacky-stan’ to me.
He wears two watches on his wrist, always a scarf around his neck, dark shades with lemon green glasses, or yellow rims, and jeans that have dragon prints above the knee. To be fair, mid-way through the movie, the filmmakers it seems did fire their mithai shop stylist. And gave their hero suits and shirts that might him suit him better. But then, this hero wouldn’t have cared either way. His general demeanour, he says, doesn’t match his age. Or anybody else’s, for that matter.
Vijju says beep, when he wants to curse; it keeps his tongue (zubaan) clean. He has a wife (Hema Malini), who separated from him because of his girlfriend (Raveena Tandon). At the shopping mall, he finds both of them at the same time. He looks at his wife, and the Hema Malini song from Naseeb blares from the screen, ‘Mere naseeb mein tu hai ke nahin’. He looks at his girlfriend, the Raveena hit ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast’ starts. Hmmm.
Vijju’s actually back from Paris, before which, he was in the prison. He has a son, who’s a cop, and knows nothing about his dad. Still, this isn’t quite the situation from Big B’s Aakhree Rasta (1986). This police officer (Sonu Sood), who could himself pass off for a poor man’s ‘70s Bachchan, is on the Mafia’s hit-list. The villain, Prakash Raj -- by now a stock southern import for all ‘80s type Bollywood movies -- is on the lookout for a sharpshooter to kill off the cop. Vijju joins his gang. So he can save his son instead. Hence: Thoda action. Thoda Jackson!
The songs may still please those inside Juhu’s Rock Bottom where Vijju usually hangs out. The comic track could bring an occasional smile or two. The hero but looks a bit of a mutant doing action on photo stills, besides other similar silliness. As floating statistics go, about 70 per cent of current India was born after Sholay. They clearly have little clue about Salim-Javed’s dialogue heavy, handsome, lanky, ‘angry young man’ (Trishul, Deewar...) that single-handedly, sometimes, even made the Bollywood film script irrelevant in the ‘70s (Lawaaris, Sharaabi...). The persona was good enough. I’d rather they watched Rajkumar Santoshi’s Khakee (2004) for belated education.
But then again, the director here’s also an unabashed fanboy. So many of Bachchan’s blinded filmmakers unfortunately are. At the end, he writes a long tribute to his leading actor, suggesting how this is the sort of role he’d been missing him play for the past many years. He wishes to bring that 'angry young man' back to theatres. Ummm, what exactly was he missing again? Mard, Toofan, Jaadugar…