Guest Iin London Review

Paresh Rawal and Kartik Aaryan in a movie still from "Guest Iin London." (photo provided)

Panorama Studios & Kiaan Entertainment presents: Guest Iin London

Produced by: Kumar Mangat Pathak & Abhishek Pathak

Directed by: Ashwni Dhir

Written by: Ashwni Dhir & Robin Bhatt

Music: Raghav Sachar & Amit Mishra

Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Kharbanda, Paresh Rawal, Tanvi Azmi, Sanjay Mishra, Sp. App.: Ajay Devgn & Sharad Kelkar

MUMBAI—We wasted precious in traveling for the press screening to a movie hall 10 kilometers away for watching the 2.18 hours (give or take a few minutes) film and going back, totaling not less than more than four hours in Mumbai traffic.

We wonder whether to waste time in even reviewing this pathetic exercise in comedy from a man whom I respect as a film and television sitcom maker – Ashwni Dhir. After the decent “One Two Three” (which flopped for valid reasons) and “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?” and a fun package like “Son Of Sardaar,” this man, along with veteran Robin Bhatt, writes one of the worst comedies I have watched in a long time in “Guest Iin London.” And he directs it as well.

The trailer did give us more than an inkling of the clichéd humor in store, but nothing prepared us the crass level of toilet humor. I think I genuinely laughed (at the lines, not even the situation!) just five and a half times in the film. Laughed, I said, not chortled or guffawed. Oh, yeah, I smiled once too.

A good chunk of the film footage is devoted to farts and also a sequence with a baby (a cross-breed between a Pakistani and a black!)’s poop and how the infant is massaged by the visiting Guddi (Tanvi Azmi), wife of the “Guest” chachaji (Paresh Rawal). Guddi gives a Punjab-style ‘maalish,’ which to civilized Londoners, looks like torturing a baby. Then comes the blah: Guddi says, “Such children from Punjab become fearless men!” Ah, really! Is that how Milkha Singh ran, Dharmendra endured, Dara Singh ruled, and so many Army officers made us proud???!!!!

Encouraged by what they perceive as “rollicking humor,” there is a full and incredible 5-minute-long poem on farting!

Then, in the end, there is a sob story, complete with Ajay Devgn in a cameo in New York and 9/11. Er,…sorry, what is that doing is a “comedy” set in London? Well, if the human brains behind this blunder-than wander wild, why should not the locations? After seeing the beautiful English countryside, let us visit the oh-so-urban NY, right?

Ah, how can we forget the two more forced ‘emosanal atyachars’ – Guddi is a Muslim, see (chachaji has married a woman, not her religion, we are told!), and a Pakistani (Sanjay Mishra) is also shown as part of the Punjabi Southall gang, though his country’s politics and thought-processes are whipped through one-liners.

But the plot, however mediocre, is not the reason why this film sucks. Nor are the forced comedy and the farts – believe it or nuts! – the worst aspects of this fillum!

Ladies and gentlemen, the worst aspect is the self-glorification by, for and of Punjabis. When a community flaunts its worst cultural and personal traits proudly, I do not think that the self-respecting members of that same community – globally – will not object. ‘Punjabiyat’ in its worst form has been overflowing from Hindi cinema for at least 15 or more years now.

The community, known more as a brave and hardworking tribe that has gone places in India and around the globe, possessing an open heart and a forward-moving mind, has been defiled by our filmmakers in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong reasons in the name of comedy, drama or emotions. The music too is so Punjabi that Hindi film music buffs will only cringe. And even if they dance to a song or two – whether in a Southall pub or a SoBo one – they will forget the noisy rubbish they have heard after it is over and the next one (also from a beleaguered by Punjabi music Hindi film) begins to play!

And what is an artist like Paresh Rawal (who recently said money does not give the happiness a great role and film does!) doing here? Did the paid holiday in London and NY take precedence over everything else? Kriti is endearing but limited, Kartik already (!) mechanical, and Tanvi is sweet but often fake.

Too much said and written by now. Ah, yes, for the plot, revisit the amusing “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?” and just give its climax a (bad) twist.

One final comment: When are we going to hear pan-Indian HINDI songs in pan-Indian HINDI films again? Attached to this fillum was the trailer of “Mubarakan,” another Punjab-heavy comedy with Punjabi numbers!

Rating: *1/2

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