Mayank Shekhar's review: Desi Boyz


By Hindustan Times

Director: Rohit Dhawan
Actors: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham
Rating: *1/2

Nick (I presume, Nikesh), Jerry (short for Jignesh), are both Gujarati “brothers, from another (hotter) mother.” These faux hipsters are joined by the hip, they share such chemistry that they don’t even need to talk to each other. They can telepathically read each other’s minds. So sweet.

Jignace used to be a security guard at a mall, zooming around in a Segway. Nick was an investment banker. Both are now jobless, there is recession in the air. As you can tell from the repeated aerial shots, we’re in England, where boys from Peter Cattaneo’s hilarious, heartwarming Full Monty had faced a similar plight 14 years ago.

Likewise, the only way forward for these two unemployed jocks is to become male escorts. It’s not about the money, never is, is it? There is a larger goal. They must save a nauseatingly saccharine little boy (Jerry’s orphaned nephew) from getting into a foster home, though he may be better off being there.

Anyway. John Abraham, Akshay Kumar play these two mutton sheekh roles: Nick and Jerry, now Hunter and Rocco. Akshay’s supposedly size 11, though he’s referring to his shoe size, of course. Both meats are in demand, as they spread khushi (happiness). “Khushi ka tareeka (route to this happiness)”, the girl gets to decide; “khushi ki hadein (limits to this happiness),” the guy does. Your own happiness quotient looking at all this? Well, there is only one way to find out!

This is supposedly meant to be a happy film, since we’re talking about exploited men after all. It'd become Chandni Bar if there was a woman dancing or sleeping around for an orphaned nephew!

There’s a swingin’ dance track in there, Subah Hone Na De, possibly the zingiest Bollywood discotheque number I’ve heard since Char Baj Gaye, the copy of Black Eyed Peas’ My Hump, which apparently made the aptly titled film Faltu a commercial success earlier this year. This is how such movies work. So you never know.

One unrelated song follows another. You wonder why producers don’t just release albums with starry music videos instead. Why bother with a willfully moronic movie attempting to string a soundtrack together. Songs survive. Films rarely do. Filmmakers themselves don’t care enough about the characters. Why should the audience, so what’s the point?

Well, there is a point. The two boys get busted. Nick tries to woo his girlfriend (Deepika Padukone) back. Jerry goes back to school. His racist Brit, economics teacher tells him about India, he’s read about, that has the most number of illiterates in the world. Jerry hits him hard, where it hurts the most: "Where did you read this email?" Hotmail. "Do you know an Indian Sabeer Bhatia started it?" No. (An American Jack Smith co-founded that web service. Not many Indians know that either). Next, he tells us about India’s other great contribution to the world, which is zero. Literally. “Do you know Aryabhatta invented the 0?”

This is classic Akshay Kumar NRI moment. There was the other priceless one in the hit film Namastey London, where he informed goras about how India had reached the moon, his country was better and bigger than the British because we have 12 crore readers of newspapers and magazines; the word 'mother' is singularly derived from Sanskrit; so is the word ‘brother’…

Old mother walks into this movie. Child was always there. Some drama takes place in a courtroom. You figure this formula for the moolah could be a post-2000 film by David (born Rajinder) Dhawan. It turns out his son’s the director. Generations change. So do audiences. Same garbage gets recycled still. We deserve it. So be it. Rating: 3