The International Movie Review

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Bombay To Bangkok – Same S(h)ame, Nothing Different

Posted by harino1 on January 24, 2008

After the huge success of films like Dor and Iqbal, a Nagesh Kukunoor film starring Nagesh’s chela -Shreyas Tadpade comes your way. Expectations for this flick too are running high. So here’s how the plot goes.

Shankar (Shreyas Tadpade), a Mumbai cook, in desperate need of money steals from the local Don (Naseerudin Shah). Giving the Don’s cronies the slip he escapes impersonating a doctor with a team heading for relief work in Thailand. His plan though goes awry as he loses all the important money bag in the ensuing chaos.

In Bangkok his search for the missing loot is derailed when he bumps into a lovely massage girl Jasmine (Lena Christensen) and is instantly smitten! The hitch is she speaks only Thai and he can’t converse with her at all. A ray of hope comes his way the next day when Jasmine turns up desperately in need of a doctor! Shankar along with his Thai-Sardar buddy Rachwinder (Manmeet Singh), jump to the rescue and unwittingly pull Jasmine into his road-trip searching for the money bag. Hot on their trail are the vengeful don’s rapper son Jam K (Vijay Maurya) and his henchmen who have landed in Bangkok to retrieve their money.

To begin with looks like Nagesh Kukunoor has got it completely wrong this time. His so called comedy of errors looks more like a script full of errors. Kukunoor experiments with a road trip that takes you from the streets of Bombay to Bangkok and in the process leaves the viewers no where. It’s the weak story telling that kills the film. The plot is obvious, all the gags and comedy situations have been seen before (more than once) and it drags on too long. The film definitely needs some trimming as it just prolongs to be called a 2 hour flick.

Some scenes in the film work (especially the ones where Vijay Maurya tries hard to rap), many don’t. The film is full of clichés of all kinds. Right from the cook leaving stealing some bucks and running off to Bangkok, meeting a massage girl, falling in love and so on. The screenplay manages to dance around this bizarre story for the better part of the film’s runtime without reaching any conclusion whatsoever.

Several portions of the film are just purely annoying like whenever Nagesh shows a scene and cuts across to reveal that it was just a dream sequence. It annoys plainly because at the cost of trying to be funny, repetition kills. . Kukunoor tries real hard by inserting a lot of dumb humor into the gloomy premise to try to liven things up when nothing else is working.

Shreyas Tadpade is indeed one of the finest actors Bollywood has ever seen. Without a doubt Shreyas proved that he is a warehouse of talent with his magnificent performances in Iqbal and Om Shanti Om. But this time around the poor chap’s performance suffers plainly due to a tiresome script.

Shreyas does impress with his voice over for the film and his diverse expressions. He does well to don on the romantic guy image. Scenes where he tries hard to communicate with Lena Christensen are impressive. The scene where he goes for a massage for the very first time is humorous. Besides the poor script, even the overdose of lip-lock moments are pointless and dull. Wonder what Kukunoor was thinking when he wrote these scenes? Even including the lip-lock sequences when the credit rolls at the end wasn’t funny at all. Sometimes, being faced with a bad script can even make a good actor bad. That’s the case here.

Lena Christensen suits the character. She does carry off pretty well. Jeneva Talwar as the Physiatrist is pretty good. Yateen Karyekar is wasted. Manmeet Singh is just ok. One of the finest actors in the film who really brings in that laughter is Vijay Maurya as JK/Jamal Khan. Vijay’s rap sequences are really witty.  Naseerudin Shah –was he even there?

Cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is ok. The film requires some trimming, so Sanjib Datta (editor) would have to do his bit.

The songs seem terribly forced in. The only track that really impresses is the “Same same but different” number.

On the whole Bombay to Bangkok suffers from a weak story line. With very little resolution and very little depth to all the events that take place, our only laughs come from JK, who remains remarkably enthusiastic throughout.

The film is absolutely tiresome, lethargic and predictable that you often wonder whether you are watching a Nagesh Kukunoor film. Maybe that’s why Nagesh does a repeat of the Aaashyaein sequence with Shreyas running up the hay stacks in this film too. To conclude, the film is “same same”-full of clichés and abosultely nothing “different”.

Rating : *1/2

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