By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Film: "Bachke Rehna Re Baba"; Cast: Rekha, Mallika Sherawat, Paresh Rawal, Satish Shah; Direction: Govind Menon
You gawk and gasp at the sheer temerity of this so called comedy about an aunt-niece pair conning gullible bachelors of
every shape and size out of their millions.
Whatever happened to good old comedies like "Padosan", "Golmaal" and even "Hera Pheri" where the actors pitched their
parody just right to create belly-laughs that didn't make you squirm in discomfort?
Everything and everyone in "Bachke Rehna Re Baba" is so baggy and over-the-top, you wonder what the director was thinking
while shuttling from one queerly conceived shot to another in search of a laughter that's lewd rather than luscious.
And to reduce the once luscious Rekha to this fatuous farcical state... Allah! it's worse than watching Joan Of Arc burn
on the cross.
But let's not bring Joan into this. This isn't a film about witches but bitches... And I use that word without
Welcome to the amoral world of wanna-get-rich-at-any-cost bitches. Like Govind Menon's previous Sherawat-helmed outing
"Kiss Kiss Ki Kismat", the stakes here are higher than the writer and director's imagination so we often end up looking at a
product that's too ambitious for its good.
More crude than comic and more farcical than funny, BRRB leaves you speechless with its limp and lurid mediocrity. What's
worse is its unbearable tedium. Stretching to nearly three hours of unalloyed bilge, the crap trap goes from caper to caper
like a paper tiger trying to snarl through the plastic bars of a sham zoo.
One can understand the film's younger sassier female lead mouthing embarrassing innuendos, doing her slurpy kisses with
the callow new co-star and all the other things that Sherawat has patented. But what was Rekha thinking when she agreed to
all the un-smart, shoddy double-entendres and the obnoxious nudge-nudge-wink-wink stuff more suitable to Kader Khan and
In one longish inter-lewd, Rekha posing as a French aristocrat bids for a statue of a male nude. While the statue is being
carted out, the penis hits the doorframe and falls to the ground. Later, we see Sherawat running around with the clay-penis.
Phallic farce is a new one for Hindi cinema. Wish it was even half as funny as it would sound on paper.
The collective comic aptitudes of the two leading ladies amount to nothing more than a series of facial contortions in
what are nothing but shallow hammy performances.
And hello hello? Is this the same Rekha who once gave rousing comic performances in "Khubsoorat" and "Biwi Ho To Aisi"?
Rekha makes a mockery of her mythic stature as a diva. The director of this film should be legally punished for what he has
done to one of Bollywood's most abiding star-actresses.
Paresh Rawal too is uncharacteristically out of sorts. As Rekha's love-smitten Punjabi husband, chasing her all the way to
Mauritius (where much of the pathetic parody plays itself out) Rawal shines in spurts.
But clearly the guy having all the fun is Satish Shah. As a gutka-addicted Sindhi businessman being ensnared by the
gold-digging Rekha, Shah gets all the expressions of celebrating mediocrity right, specially when he has to play dead.
Satish Shah had earlier played a corpse in Kundan Shah's "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron". This time his cadaverous act is a signal
for the plot to lie down and breathe its last.
Newcomer Karan Khanna gets a chance to show his competence as a kisser. Acting? Who's doing much of that anyway?
Many portions of this film are so clumsily shot and edited you wonder what the director was thinking while concocting the
cornucopia of witless corniness.
Final word: is comedy se bachke rehna.