Cast: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Chitrangda Singh, Omi Vaidya, Sanjay Dutt
Directed by Rohit Dhawan
Movies on recession focus on two things: the trying state of affairs on being sacked or career options that are recession-proof. 'Desi Boyz' combines the two. Ironically, our lead duo lose their shirts to the global meltdown and then end up becoming male escorts, a profession that thrives on shedding of clothing. And since this could make our censor board a bit queasy, the filmmaker provides enough moral policing to almost seem like a statutory warning on how disgraceful this career choice can be.
Welcome to dreary, unhappy London. The financial collapse has led to many frowning jobless people like Batman and Superman who've taken to the streets. This crisis has also hit our lead jodi, odd-job-expert, Jerry Patel (Akshay Kumar) and his investment banker roommate, Nick Mathur (John Abraham). While Nick is 'let-go' due to the crisis, Jerry keeps getting fired for his deliberate negligence, specially to help the lesser privileged (as a security guard, he lets a guy make away with stolen goods as they were only medicines he couldn't afford).
For Nick, being fired means failing to keep up with his hysterical fiancé, Radhika (Deepika Padukone), while Jerry could lose custody of his sister's orphaned son, Veer. The two are mulling over these heart-breaking aftermaths, when a glittering business card slides across the bar table to them. It reads, 'Desi Boyz'. The enterprise greets them with the background score of 'Khal Nayak' and the owner (Sanjay Dutt) offers them a job that innocently requires them to only 'make women happy'. With little reluctance, they don their happiness-spreading avatars by shedding their sleeves, shirts and inhibitions to become dancing, singing party rentals. With their new business names, Rocco (Jerry) and Hunter (Nick) groove to songs like 'Make Some Noise' and 'Subha Hone Na De' to become must-hires for every bachelorette, bored housewife and lonely hag.
But this alternative way of making a quick buck has to be rubbished (not Indian culture, no?). So a certain online video of the Rocco and Hunter's desi performance reaches Radhika and the social security in-charge who will decide on Veer's custody. What happens from this point on is obvious. Jerry goes on to become Larry Crowne and resumes Oxford's Trinity College to hook up with his economics Prof who also happens to be his college friend, Tanya (Chitrangda Singh). Meanwhile, Nick sings many songs shacking up outside Radhika's house while sharing a quirky chemistry with her dad (Anupam Kher). The movie chugs along aimless to end with a court scene that is best left outside this review.
Akshay Kumar may manage to slash 10 years away by going shirtless (he's 44). But in the acting department, he seems to be cutting down even more. Also, John without a shirt is enough for a section of the audience to be satisfied with his performance. Deepika and Chitrangda complete their scenes with smiles, giggles and occasional frowns, while the latter could be confused as one of the props in the movie. Sanjay Dutt's cameo becomes the undisputed winner here, for his comic timing and overall act. Debutant director Rohit Dhawan has a long way to go for sizing up to his dad, David Dhawan, who created a brand of escapist cinema based purely of idiocy.
Most dance numbers sung by Mika will surely swing by radio waves for some time. But the dark recession number, 'Jeb Bhi Khali Rehti Thi' seems like a slower version of the 80s Bajaj bulbs jingle, 'Jab Main Chota Ladka Tha'.
If your idea of 'boys gone desi' is tearing out of one's clothes and jumping into a mix of disco bhangra that is supposed to charm women mindlessly, you know which movie to watch this weekend.
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