By By Subhash K. Jha
Claustrophic kitsch... Crowded comedy... These would be polite ways of putting across the chaos of colour and corny puns that constitute the essence of David Dhawan's new comedy.
Honestly, "Shaadi No.1" is the giddy limit. Its swirling surge of satire and characters makes your head spin and stomach churn. We've seen David Dhawan do such ensemble comedies before. But never with such conflicting and anarchic consequences. Never before have so many characters jostled for immediate and irretrievable attention. To ensure the audience doesn't get restless during the harebrained hilarity, the narrative remains constantly fidgety.
The cinematography and editing suggest a deep link between shallow comicality and rituals of the courtship game.
At any given time in this slammer of a marital satire, we see the three heroes - Fardeen, Zayed and Sharman either talking about sex or money.
The power play is paced at a breakneck speed. The ambience created is that of a corny libidinous carnival. Every ten minutes or so the guys get to sing and dance to Anu Malik's young-at-heart but jaded-by-repetition tunes either with their respective wives or their girlfriends.
Don't expect this film to respect sexual and ethical space. David Dhawan's fast-burn plot has no room for niceties. It catches the tempo of a rap song and turns it into a hectic hip-hop of inane dialogues topped by disembodied images of unfaithful husbands looking for sex outside their homes.
Masti anyone? This time David Dhawan not only pays homage to David Dhawan but also to that other raja of raunchy ruminations, Indra Kumar.
While the basic plot in "Shaadi No.1" seems inspired by Indra Kumar's "Masti", the clamorous cast's climactic dangle from a high-rise pole with Satish Shah (dressed in a US construction worker's uniform) drilling the pole, is straight from Indra Kumar's "Dil".
The mélange of mirthful episodes is so haphazard and so pointedly designed to tickle one's funny-bone without any durable or even likeable impact, that at the end of it you wonder if Dhawan has gone back to the valley of the droll that he had patented before his most recent comedies "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya".
Not that this latest ouch-ouch-hota-hai outing from the master blaster doesn't have its funny moments. Zayed Khan descending in Spiderman attire to 'rescue' Sophia Choudhary is the one time you spare a smile to this raunchy (though not excessively vulgar) raga of rile.
But the rile lacks style. The verve is sapped of real vitality. These are guys and gals whose gags are so familiar and fatuous, you want to gag them.
Annoyingly bloated in vision, "Shaadi No.1" is like a television sitcom blown up and condensed to be accommodated on the 70 mm screen. The characters share their comic karma without any chemistry. There's neither any bonding among the three heroes (even "Masti" managed to muster a modicum of camaraderie among the riotous trio of male protagonists). Nor do the lead pairs look like screen couples.
Ayesha Takia and Fardeen Khan, for instance, look more like an overweight housewife and her trainer (with whom she might or might not be having a fling). Zayed and Esha (with Rajpal Yadav, in a hilarious cameo as an intrusive film maker) look more like strangers involved in a one-night stand than a married couple. As for Soha and Sharman Joshi, they are akin to a sibling rather than a spousal bonding.
Bonding is one of the many casualties in this feverish fling with farcical frivolity. At any given time we get at least seven-eight characters in every frame shouting, pushing, shoving and striving to create a clamour of glamour.
All in vain. Sanjay Dutt presides over the parodic proceedings. His thick Punjabi accent and a raging satirical attitude seem like a grotesque travesty of his wonderful comic performance in "Munnabhai MBBS".
In fact, the saturated over-done pun-clogged dialogues make a reference to Munnabhai, only to remind us how far removed this far-flung farce is from providing genuine fun.