As is the understood pre-requisite for enjoying most Indian comedies, akkal nikaal ke dekh yaar. Rohit Shetty's "Golmaal", adapted from a Gujarati play, the name of which zooms past the screen at warp speed prior to the start of the film, is a hilarious, laugh-a-minute rib-tickler that sucessfully maintains its energy right through the finish. To some, the humor may seem quite politically incorrect, perhaps offensive, for comedy dealing with the physically challenged can often be trivialized. Shetty and witty writer Neeraj Vora however, make a sincere effort to ensure their comedy is not about the physically challenged, but rather about impossible and implausible situations their four main characters find themselves in, with relation to a blind couple.
Four playful con-men (Devgan, Warsi, Joshi, Kapoor) indebted to Vasool bhai (Tiwari), find themselves at a beautiful house while on the run. After a night of snooping, they learn that the residents, a blind couple (Rawal & Mukherjee) are awaiting their grandson Sameer's return. Laxman (Joshi) is forced by his partners in crime into physically pretending to be Sameer. His refusal to speak once thrown into the soup leads Gopal (Devgan) to become Sameer's voice. As the foursome impersonate the grandson and try to conceal the existence of three extra people in the house, sidesplitting one-liners and uproarious situations arrive aplenty.
Devgan and Warsi carry off their comedy as experienced campaigners. Tusshar Kapoor as the vocally challenged man follows up his comic streak from "Kya Kool Hai Hum", successfully holding his own in this poutpurri of comedians. Paresh Rawal's comic timing as always, is a delight to watch. Susmita Mukherjee who has longed for a good comic role since her "Karamchand" days ably supports Rawal in the role of his wife. The immensely talented Sharman Joshi however, emerges as the real star of "Golmaal", his ability to easily switch between deadpan humor and spontaneous, comic vibrancy proving to be his forte.
Unlike Hrishikesh Mukherjee's unsurpassable 1979 classic of the same name, Shetty's "Golmaal" suffers from a tonal break, shifting into a heavy emotional and dramatic mode at the climax, an annoying practice often seen in numerous Hindi comedies. One wishes the laughathon had continued unbroken, but in the wider scheme of things, five minutes of drama out of 150 minutes of non-stop laughter is perhaps an excusable shortcoming.
Yet "Golmaal" survives its flaws and ludicrousness because the film does not take itself seriously. It's playful nature makes it a movie that cannot be overanalyzed. "Golmaal" arrives as a welcome, solid, popcorn-for-the-mind summer flick. Illogical, implausible, and inconceivable, it lives up to its tagline - Fun Unlimited.
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