It's not pretentious. It's a just a simple narration, directed with the singular intent of entertaining and enacted with finesse. Raghav Dar's MY FRIEND PINTO gives you a slice of Mumbai, served clean without the accompaniment of blood and gore. Fresh would be the right way to describe this film in one word.
Everything happens in one night and the lives of the characters are interwoven to bring it to a cute crescendo towards the grand finale. The few dances on show are well-choreographed and the music, foot-tapping. In the end, it's not Pinto's friend who introduces him as 'My Friend Pinto' but the others he has met a few hours ago, while his friend looks on from the background.
Sameer (Arjun Mathur) and Michael Pinto (Prateik Babbar) are school buddies. While Pinto lives in Goa, Sameer is now married and living in Mumbai. Caught up with the pressures of making life 'happen', he fails to correspond with Pinto who has been writing letters faithfully for the past 10 years or so. Most of the letters have never even been opened by Sameer. Given this background, Sam is unaware of what Pinto is going through - He does not know that he has lost his mother.
Pinto is on a week's holiday in Mumbai before he goes to join the seminary to become a Priest. Sam is in a fix because his wife, though aware of who Pinto is, is also aware that he has the uncanny knack of getting himself in trouble and making a mess of things. She is house proud and wants nothing to do with a mess, while Sam cannot refuse Pinto this honour. It's New Year's Eve and Sam and his wife have to go for a party. They leave, with Pinto still in the bathroom, busy trying to fix a tap he has just broken.
One incident leads to another and before you know it Pinto is out of the house, after accidently finding himself locked in the balcony. Stuck, he has two options; to wait for his friend's return, or walk dangerously on the parapet. From here begins his journey into the night and onto the Mumbai streets. He ends up at the same party as his friend. To top it, he is the cynosure of all eyes.
Prateik is a raw talent. It's in his genes. He plays the bumbling fool to good effect. Not a standout, or his best performance, but definitely worthy of an applause. I just thought it would have been a good move to have run this movie without an interval. The break kills the momentum it builds up for the viewer.
Having said that, MY FRIEND PINTO is definitely a feel good movie. One, which an entire family can enjoy together.