Poster Boys Review

"Poster Boys" starring Shreyas Talpade, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol is the Hindi remake of the Marathi original "Poster Boyz," produced by Talpade. (photo provided)

Sunny Sounds Pvt. Ltd., Affluence Movies and Sony Pictures Networks Productions present “Poster Boys”

Produced by: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Shreyas Talpade & Deepti Talpade

Directed by: Shreyas Talpade

Written by: Sameer Patil, Shreyas Talpade, Bunty Rathore & Paritosh Painter

Music: Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen, Tanishq Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Sunai Marathe, Shreyas Iyengar Sonny Ravan & Shree D

Starring: Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Shreyas Talpade, Sonali Kulkarni, Tripti Dimri, Samiksha Bhatnagar, Sachin Khedekar, Randheer Rai, Tasha Bhambra, Murli Sharma, Ravi Jhankal, Ashwini Kalsekar and others Sp. App.: Ajay Devgn, Parineeti Chopra, Tusshar, Rohit Shetty and others

It’s a welcome season for laughs after a spate of duds in the first half of 2017. After one satire on open defecation, a sweet romantic triangle and a film that looks at erectile dysfunction, we now have a social satire on vasectomy that also looks at relevant issues like the social stigma attached to it and how innocent people are made to run from pillar to post for a simple thing that affects their lives big time and can be easily rectified by the authorities – if they have the will to serve the common man as they are supposed to be doing.

The film, after a slow start, gets into very entertaining mode to the extent that we do not realize its biggest satirical point: that the three poster boys’ problem is solved by the chief minister ONLY because he stands to benefit in the forthcoming elections and finds it politically expedient to take their side, not because the three men are in the right!

Jagaawar Choudhary (Sunny Deol), the head of a well-to-do family, schoolmaster Vinay Sharma (Bobby Deol) and recovery agent Arjun Singh (Shreyas Talpade) find themselves in a soup when things go wrong in their lives all at once. Jagaawar’s sister’s engagement is mysteriously canceled by the opposite party because Jagaawar has done something “shameful.”

Vinay’s incendiary wife Surajmukhi (Samiksha Bhatnagar) wants to take a divorce from him because he can no longer (!) give her a son when they already have two daughters, and Arjun Singh’s lady love Rhea (Tripti Dimri)’s parents call off any possible union between the two after the disgusting thing that Arjun has done!

Three men, with no common point in their lives, staying in the small town of Jangheti, are separately baffled and cannot understand what is happening. But soon, circumstances show them the shocking truth: that they have become the face of the health ministry’s vasectomy campaign as the three men on their posters that have been circulated far and wide with grave social repercussions.

When they cannot convince their families and everyone else that their pictures have been used without permission (which is especially difficult for Jagaawar as he is a selfie addict and active on social media!), they gang up to find out the truth.

While the section leading to their ganging up moves upwardly as a comic graph (two high points being Vinay’s tendency to forget what he is saying and consulting an appropriate book in his omnipresent satchel, and the way Jagaawar sees Vinay and Arjun suddenly lying on the ground), things get funnier later.

The finest aspect about this film is that nothing that happens is predictable, and the only predictable point – the surprise twist at interval point – is not guessed at by many due to the sharp and satirical flow of the script. The proceedings at the bureaucratic level are also kept as light as possible, and again a special highlight is the comment made by a minister (Murli Sharma) on his team member Rekha. The way Jagaawar feels his anger rising many times and wants to warn his two friends is also amusing.

Even the seemingly absurd aspects in the film have a logical explanation, like the sudden mellowing and turnaround of Surajmukhi.

The film is brought to extra-spirited and fast-paced life not only by Shreyas Talpade’s cerebral direction but also by his script, and Bunty Rathore’s and Paritosh Painter’s dialogues are superlatively funny and will indicate a repeat watch for lovers of such entertainers and comedies.

Most of the humor is spot-on, classy and clean, often hilarious and side-splitting, and the two Deols bring in their unique mad streak to it. However, even the whacky elements work, like the loony gynecologist (Ashwini Kalsikar, hilarious as always)’s shenanigans, the cute colleague lusting after Vinay till the end, or the bravado of Arjun’s father.

That brings us to the only downside of this film, which has nothing to do with its content: delightful performances or cameos by supporting artists who are not given due focus. Most films need end-credit titles with both names and faces shown, and we wonder why this is not done in this case where it should have been a compulsion. We want to know who were Arjun’s two sidekicks (the better-looking one is Tasha Bhambra) – his father, the lady called Rekha, the two main culprits in the health ministry, the turbaned potential father-in-law of Jagaawar’s sister, the man in the first office the trio visits, or the man who Jagaawar hangs upside down?

The rest of the supporting cast is also impressive: Tripti Dimri is fetching as Rhea. Samiksha Bhatnagar is the fiery Surajmukhi and is, as per the needs, loud, but stops just the right side of being over-the-top. Murli Sharma is fun instead of being his patent evil self in other films, and Kalsikar, as said, is just superb. Ravi Jhankal as Rhea’s father, the television reporter and the Sardar who support the trio are alright, but if anyone strikes a false note, it is Sonali Kulkarni as Jagaawar’s wife. Sachin Khedekar is stereotypically hammy.

But the film gets all its power from the three leads. Sunny Deol, looking younger and fitter than most of our superstars (!) is brilliant as Jagaawar, and the way his brawn and his subtle humor are blended is illuminating for someone who is (wrongly) considered only a star but a limited performer. It’s a strong, bravura performance.

Bobby Deol gets the gallery-friendly role as the perennially-harangued schoolmaster. His expressions are fantastic, especially when he asks for time to refer to his books. Together, the Deol brothers are a textbook in perfect timing. Shreyas Talpade as Arjun is his usual self, but still in sync with his character.

The music and technical aspects are functional. But truly speaking, there was no need for any song, except for the re-created song “Kudiyaan Sheher Diya,” which though filmed as a classic item number, actually has relevance to the plot, as it turns out!

No matter what the initial box-office will be (nowadays such films grow by word-of-mouth despite poor marketing and limited releases), this is one movie that will live on, as it has a humongous shelf-life. Don’t miss, please.

Rating: ****

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