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The Jains of Venus and director Priyadarshan created hungama with HUNGAMA first and hulchul with HULCHUL last November. This November, they come up with GARAM MASALA.
Obviously, the expectations from the combo are gargantuan. Combined with terrific pre-release promotion and a cast that's oven-fresh [Akshay-John together for the first time!], GARAM MASALA promises fun unlimited, by the look of its promos.
When you talk of comic capers, the [recent] names that cross your mind are MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI, KYAA KOOL HAI HUM, MAINE PYAAR KYUN KIYA and of course, NO ENTRY.
Comedy is a difficult emotion to capture on celluloid and to pull it off and make the moviegoer laugh non-stop for 2 + hours is even more difficult. GARAM MASALA rests on a thin plot, but it works because the gags and punches in the enterprise, more so towards the post-interval portions, are truly funny.
GARAM MASALA has several things going in its favor, but the camaraderie the two actors share is, without a shred of doubt, one of the USPs of the enterprise. The kind of chemistry that Akshay and John share is easily comparable to the Big B-Vinod Khanna combo that made many a movie memorable with their sheer magnetic charm.
Also, GARAM MASALA works, and works in a big way, when it comes to tickling your funny bone. The gags are truly amusing, the comic timing of the actors is perfect and the outcome is an entertainer that may throw logic to the winds, but guarantees ample laughs.
In a nutshell, GARAM MASALA is a chill-pill every entertainment-hungry moviegoer would like to relish. Like MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI and NO ENTRY, you may not find a logical plot on hand, but GARAM MASALA does deliver what it promises: Peels of laughter!
A good-for-nothing photographer Mac [Akshay Kumar] finds himself in possession of an empty flat and access to three gorgeous air hostesses, Priti [Daisy], Sweety [Neetu] and Puja [Nargis]. Though Mac is already engaged to Anjali [Rimmi Sen], he convinces each of them that she is the one and only one for him.
But Sam [John Abraham], once Mac's best friend and now his rival, surfaces on the scene and adds to the chaos. Adding to the mayhem is the eccentric cook [Paresh Rawal].
Remake of Priyadarshan's Malayalam film BOEING BOEING, which in turn was inspired by the 1965 Hollywood film BOEING BOEING [Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis], there's loads of laughter and entertainment packed in those 2.20 hours of GARAM MASALA. If you thought Priyadarshan was at his best while attempting drama [KALA PAANI, GARDISH and VIRASAT], watch GARAM MASALA to check out how the efficient storyteller takes a thin plot, whips up a crackling screenplay, takes you to a world where logic and reason don't exist, yet you can't keep your eyes off the screen for most parts of the film.
Frankly, GARAM MASALA is more style than substance in the first hour. The game of one-upmanship between Akshay and John in the restaurant first and at the airport lounge later [when John stages a comeback] are two situations that compel you to flex your facial muscles.
Yet, there's no denying that the first half of GARAM MASALA is plain ordinary. It could've been better; it's not side-splitting enough [you expect it to be one at the outset], you remember it for a few sequences, not for the entirety.
But things change, thankfully, in the post-interval portions. The entire episode when two of the three air-hostesses land up at the house, yet don't bump into each other, is remarkable and uplifts the film to heights. Even the pre-climax, when the two air-hostesses confront Akshay and John, deserves brownie points for its expert execution and interpretation by the actors.
Priyadarshan isn't in complete form, but he knows how to pack in a strong punch in those two hours. If only Priyan would've picked up a riveting story to make a stronger impression. As always, the director's films seem visually exciting and GARAM MASALA is no exception. The usage of bright colors only makes it look glamorous.
One of the key assets of the enterprise is Neeraj Vora's witty dialogues and one-liners. There are times when even an ordinary sequence gets a major boost thanks to the wit and humor laced in the lines. Pritam's music is a disappointment. It's a mixed bag frankly, with the visuals overpowering the tunes. Yet, a few songs do stand out for the sheer visual appeal. 'Ada' and 'Kiss Me Baby' [end titles] as also the Baywatch kind of song do stay in your memory. The sets [Sabu Cyril] are stylish and only enhance the visuals. Cinematography [Thiru] is picture postcard quality.
Akshay Kumar is the soul of GARAM MASALA. The actor goes on a rampage and stands tall in the enterprise, even though the role is quite outlandish and bizarre. Truly, he is racing to the post of Funster No. 1 with rapid speed!
John Abraham is competent most of the times. However, the actor is relegated to the backseat at times since the best lines and punches are reserved for Akshay. However, the two actors compliment each other wonderfully well. Paresh Rawal is fantastic. The versatile actor makes you laugh even with a straight face.
Rimmi Sen isn't in form, partly because her role is sketchy. Neha Dhupia adds to the glamorous quotient in a brief role. The three girls -- Daisy, Neetu and Nargis -- are all efficient. Rajpal Yadav and Manoj Joshi are alright. Asrani is capable.
On the whole, GARAM MASALA focuses on wit and humor rather than logic and a solid story, as is the trend with most comic capers produced these days. At the box-office, thanks to the extra-ordinary promotion embarked upon by its makers and also the fact that the film has been released in the festive week [Diwali, Idd] with a huge number of prints [in multiple shows], GARAM MASALA is sure to fetch an electrifying start all over, garnering a huge initial in its 5-day opening weekend. Business-wise, the first week shares will be massive, with the producers and also its distributors making a garma-garam profit in the shortest possible period.
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