National Award-winning director Madhur Bhandarkar, known for making hard-hitting and realistic films like CHANDNI BAR, PAGE 3 and FASHION, traverses a completely new terrain with DIL TOH BACCHA HAI JI. Mind you, it takes a lot of courage to get out of your comfort zone and make a completely different film.
DTBHJ brings back the successful jodi of Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi after ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. It also stars Omi Vaidya (3 IDIOTS fame) in a pivotal role. The quirky promos and some smart marketing went in favour of the film and managed to create the right buzz.
In a hilarious voice-over by Paresh Rawal, we are introduced to bank officer Naren Ahuja (Ajay Devgn), playboy Abhay Suri (Emraaan Hashmi) and Milind Kelkar (Omi Vaidya). Abhay and Milind are paying guests in Naren's house.
The film basically traces the lives of Naren, Abhay and Milind and their encounters with women. Unable to resolve their rising differences, Naren and his wife (Rituparna Sengupta) are about to end their seven-year-old marriage. In a disturbed state of mind, Naren falls for a cute 20-year-old new trainee June Pinto (Shazahn Padamsee) in his bank. Abhay is a gym instructor who can't get enough of girls and women (married and unmarried). He even loses his job for teasing the wife of an underworld bhai from Dubai. On the other hand, Milind writes 'dard bhari shayrees' which cause 'sir dard'. He also works in a matrimonial site, zhatpatshaadi.com, but is unable to find himself a suitable match. He gets infatuated by radio jockey Gungun Sarka (Shraddha Das), who just uses him to get out of troubled situations. The rest of the film shows how their respective tracks move forward.
An impressive opening credits sequence involving sketches sets the right tempo. Without much ado, you are introduced to the characters straight away. Although the first half is placid, the graph of the narrative remains unidimensional as there's not much movement in terms of the story. The introduction of 'U.S. return' Nikki Narang (Shruti Haasan) just before the intermission adds a certain twist to the tale.
Like most films, DTBHJ loses its way terribly in the second half. It's a painful watch full of cliches and drags on and on. All the tracks except Abhay's are tripe. The climax intended to be 'real' is hideous and falls flat. The worst part is that you don't feel for any of the characters at the end of it.
The humour oscillates between being very good to extremely flimsy and puerile. Abhay naming his puppy Kasab (who's a 'terror') as he was found on CST station (in Mumbai) has you in splits. But most of the jokes simply don't work, making you laugh unintentionally.
Pritam's music is disappointing with Abhi Kuch Dino Se being the only passable track. Ravi Walia's cinematography is impressive. Sanjay Chhel's dialogues are inconsistently good.
Ajay Devgn proves that he can do comedy with equal ease as action and serious roles. Emraan Hashmi is good but it's getting boring to see him play similar characters again and again. He gets some of the best dialogues. And yes, he's back to his kissing ways! Omi Vaidya is remarkable. However, his accent reminds one of his famous character of Chatur from 3 IDIOTS. Shraddha Das is decent. Shazahn Padamsee looks cute, acts well and remains in her character throughout. Tisca Chopra delivers an outstanding performance. Shruti Haasan can't act. All the other actors are good in their small roles.
Madhur should rather stick to realistic cinema or improve immensely before attempting something different next time. DIL TOH BACCHA HAI JI doesn't win your dil.