Paying Guests - Reviews
By Taran Adarsh, June 19, 2009 - 14:32 IST
Never judge a book by its cover. But we do! We tend to get carried away by eye-catching promos that a film-maker unleashes prior to a film's release. We act in haste, rush to a nearby cineplex and soon realise that the best parts were actually highlighted in the promos itself.
That's exactly what you feel when you watch PAYING GUESTS, helmed by first-timer Paritosh Painter.
Comedy is serious business and Paritosh Painter ought to know this by now, since he has successfully directed a number of plays in the past. Sadly, PAYING GUESTS stands on a waferthin plot, although Paritosh tries hard to add meat to the skeletal body. The film doesn't have the power to hold your attention for the next 2 hours, although it does [intermittently] make you smile or break into a guffaw.
Earlier too, we've had our macho men getting disguised as girls [Rishi Kapoor and Paintal in RAFOO CHAKKAR were hilarious], but PAYING GUESTS tries so hard to tickle your funny bone, but falls flat.
Final word? This comedy is more of a tragedy... for its viewers!
What happens when four fun-loving boys [Shreyas Talpade, Jaaved Jaffrey, Ashish Chowdhry and Vatsal Sheth] begin a crazy house hunt? In the search for a new accommodation, these crazy friends manage to convince their crazier landlord Ballu [Johny Lever] to keep them as paying guests, but Ballu has one condition, i.e. he wants only couples.
However, the problem is they are all bachelors. Who will play their wives?
PAYING GUESTS may be a remake of a play, but it also bears a striking resemblance to Sachin's super-successful Marathi film ASHI HI BANWA BANWI. PAYING GUESTS starts off very well, but runs out of fuel in its initial 30 minutes itself.
You do laugh aloud initially and expect to wear a smile on your face all through the film, but the smile turns into a smirk gradually. Actually, the on-screen characters laugh all the while, not the audience.
PAYING GUESTS fails to deliver thanks to a poor screenplay. Barring the four heroes and the landlords [Johny Lever and Delnaaz Paul], the remaining characters in the film just don't work. The four leading ladies have nothing worthwhile to do and even the negative forces here [Chunkey Pandey and Inder Kumar] are wasted.
The climax - in a theatre, with every character doing a spoof - is a straight lift from JAANE BHI DO YAARO.
Paritosh Painter had an interesting idea on hand, but the writing plays the villain here. Sajid-Wajid's music is a ear-sore. Barring 'Jack & Jill', the remaining songs lack energy. Visually, the film looks good, with the locales of Bangkok and Pattaya adding freshness to the enterprise.
Of the cast, Shreyas is the best, followed by Javed, then Ashish and then Vatsal - in that order. The leading ladies don't have much to do, but Celina and Neha are most noticeable. Riya and Sayali Bhagat don't get any scope. Johny Lever is in form and so is Delnaaz Paul. Chunkey Pandey is alright, while Inder Kumar is wasted. Asrani stands out, while Viju Khote and Paintal are okay.
On the whole, this paying guest is just not welcome!
Rating: 1.5 / 5 by IndiaFM
Bollywood going corporate should have spelt better for the film industry. At least, now there will be some quality control amongst films that are produced by respectable banners, one had thought. Ironically, the brand equity of big film producing companies always takes a nose dive when films like Tashan, Kal Kisne Dekha and now Paying Guests hits the screen. Tell us seriously, did nobody even bother to whet the script or take a trial run of the film before putting in all the big bucks behind it? Truly, what a waste of time, money and even talent. For actors like Shreyas Talpade have already proved their forte at both serious and light stuff (remember Iqbal and Dor). So why did he have to accept a film which sees him prancing around crudely as an over made, over the top drag queen for most of the film. And if that wasn't atrocious enough, there is Jaaved Jaffrey, again a fine actor, playing a completely kitschy Kareena to Talpade's Karisma. And mind you, in this age of high couture cross dressing, our drag queens still believe in stuffing tennis balls up their vests! Can't get more DM (down market) than this, can you?
The two are forced to don the grotesque wigs and grimy make-up in order to convince the sardar couple to take them in as paying guests. Mr and Ms Sardar don't mind speaking in lewd terms, but they do mind renting out their rooms to unmarried people. Hence the four male friends become two happily married couples (Ashish Chowdhury and Shreyas Talpade, Vatsal Seth and Jaaved Jaffrey) and weave their way into the family hearth and heart. Trouble begins when the sundry girl friends arrive for the mandatory song and dance numbers and the sardarji's greedy sibling (Chunkey Pandey in a terrible act) tries to grab his moolah.
It's a completely chaotic story that keeps hurtling towards doom from the word go. Presumably a comedy, the film actually ends up making you cry -- in sheer frustration -- rather than send you in splits. The jokes are in terrible taste, where even rape is trivialised, and the actors sleepwalk their way through most of the film. Come on guys, exercise some quality control.
Rating: 1.5 / 5 by Times of India