Payal Rohatgi, Amin Gazi, Ayub Khan, Rocky Sandhu
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Eminently distasteful and not the least erotic or even titillating, "Tauba Tauba" makes a mockery of the audience.
Presumably inspired by the freak success of "Ek Chotisi Love Story", T.L.V. Prasad (who misdirected a series of no-brainers with Mithun Chakbraborty in the 1990s) casts Amin Gazi, that wonderfully expressive boy from "Lagaan", as Sunny, a 15-year-old dimwit with loads of his debauched father's (Ayub Khan) money.
All the teachers of the country who were outraged at the prospect of a shallow pupil hobnobbing with his gorgeous guru have nothing to fear except sleaze. Sunny first ogles at a teacher in school (Supriya Karnik) as though he had just watched Rishi Kapoor in "Mera Naam Joker" gawking at Simi Garewal.
Then he, and the utterly confused director, quickly move on to other perverse prospects. Sunny goes for a hedonistic holiday in his father's mansion. In a few sequences, father is in an undetermined foreign country getting massaged while Sunny-boy back home is having a good time with his neighbour.
After the teenage boy and the woman next door have... er, sex, the narrative changes gears. The woman next door is found murdered. A few clumsy shots and then the 'director' decides he wants to make a comedy of errors about a fraudulent moviemaker and his aborted plans to hoodwink our 15-year old hero.
By the time "Tauba Tauba" creaks to a halt you no longer know what it's meant to be: a sex comedy or an emasculated tragedy. The performances are all about making faces at the camera. Those contorted faces seem to be teasing us for braving this bizarre burlesque about cheesy desires.
Even the dubbing is dreadfully uneven. The young 'hero' calls his depraved father a 'tie-con'. Is that what tycoons become when they are part of a film that should be rated 'PG' for Perverse Guidance?
Poor Amin Gazi. What's the boy from "Lagaan" doing in a film like this?
Give the sex-starved multitudes straight porn flicks. They are less pretentious. And the performers are more accomplished.