'Total Siyappa' is total madness (IANS Review - Rating: ***)

Film: "Total Siyapaa"; Cast: Ali Zafar, Yami Gautam, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher; Director: Eeshwar Niwas; Rating: ***

Picture this. The daughter of a family has a secret boyfriend whom she's about to introduce to the family. No big deal, right? But what if she is an Indian and he's a Pakistani?

Picking on this pert premise screenwriter Neeraj Pandey does a special 69 on cross-border politics. Borderline tensions are defused to the point until we see just the ludicrous futility of cultural bickering. It's a delicious idea to build a plot around.

Pandey derives inspiration from a Spanish film "Seres Queridos", in which the conflict between the Palestinian boy and his girlfriend's Jewish family was served in a feisty feast of farcical episodes, all meant to draw humour from the dysfunctional family's dysfunctionalism.

In the Hindi adaptation, the Pakistani boy is utterly and delectably lost in his girlfriend's Punjabi home in London.

Director Eeshwar Niwas, who had earlier adapted the ransom caper "Ruthless People" in a reasonably watchable film "Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega", uses London's nightscape as a beguiling backdrop to the Punjabi family's bickering. Ironically, the plot loses its liberal air once out on the streets.

Anupam Kher's tryst with a British hooker is sadly unanchored.

It's one evening in the family's history. The script brings out the eccentric characters and their whimsical ways with the kind of pleasure that a housewife experiences while serving up her husband's favourite dishes although she may not be too good at the cooking.

A lot of the humour simply sags in soggy lumps. There is a distinctly 'European' flavour and fervour to the unravelling of the comic mode in the dysfunctional family's life.

Ali Zafar as the bewildered Pakistani boyfriend and Kirron Kher as his scattered mother-in-law-to-be project a prowling predatoriness to their scenes together. They are a delight to watch when thrown together.

I really wish there was more of Kher and Zafar in the plot. The meat of the matter lies in the mater's time on screen with her to be 'damaad' (son-in-law).

Yami Gautam as the giggly prim girlfriend is a sketchily written mediocre character with no dips and curves.

New-find Sara Khan as Yami's sister comes across as a far more seductive character. The role is tantalising and Sara plays with guts and vivacity the near-divorced single mother with a restless foot under the dining table. And for my money, Sara's tabletop dance with the distinctly diffident Ali is the film's highlight.

Sadly by the time Sara's sexy jig comes along, the plot meanders in search of a combustive climax. The strenuous effort to Indianise a Spanish comedy begins to take its toll on the narrative when the dysfunctional family runs out of tricks to rivet us to their wackiness.

The film comes to an inglorious halt with one of the character's stumbling home in a dazed condition, much in the same condition as the plot. But there is a lot that goes in its favour.

The elegantly done-up cosy and eccentric atmosphere of a London home, for one. David Meadows' cinematography looks at London as home rather than a tourist destination.

Sanjoy Chowdhury's background score reminds us that no matter how hard the characters scream, the music needn't get aggressive in support.

The cast, as mentioned, largely does well for itself with Ali, Kirron and Sara leading the pack.

Is it enough for two individuals from clashing cultures and countries to be in love? Love can be quite a bitch.

"Total Siyapaa" is total madness. An audacious comedy that dares to poke fun at a border issue, the film is stylised and is attentively staged.

Latest News

  • DD documentary on Mrinal Sen handed over to filmmaker

    Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) As part of its tribute to India's living legends, Doordarshan has made a documentary on legendary film maker Mrinal Sen, the DVD of which was handed to the nonagenarian movie maker here on Wednesday. Titled "Celebrating Mrinal Sen", the four-episode documentary is primarily based on conversations between the maestro and renowned film critic and analyst Sameek Bandyopadhyay. Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar handed over the DVD to Sen and his wife …

  • Surprise! Abhishek Bachchan shoots for his special appearance in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's JAZBAA
    Surprise! Abhishek Bachchan shoots for his special appearance in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's JAZBAA

    One of Bollywood's hottest couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had created their magic on screen last in GURU which released in 2007. …

  • Swastika Mukerjee and 4 Bengali bombshells who went bold in Bollywood
    Swastika Mukerjee and 4 Bengali bombshells who went bold in Bollywood

    Swastika Mukherjee has become the talk of the town because of her bold scenes and hotness quotient in DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY! …

  • Fools' Day Special: Here's why Uday Chopra and Nargis Fakhri made us go 'aww'
    Fools' Day Special: Here's why Uday Chopra and Nargis Fakhri made us go 'aww'

    The funny man in the Chopra family, Uday Chopra (of DHOOM fame) knows how to take a dig at himself as he said that he is proud to be a fool. …

  • Ayushmann Khurrana: We actors are over pampered
    Ayushmann Khurrana: We actors are over pampered

    At the recently concluded FICCI Frames 2015, Ayushmann Khurrana confessed that actors are over pampered. …

  • Madhuri, Shriram Nene now Aquaguard goodwill ambassadors

    Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and her husband Shriram Nene have been roped in by Eureka Forbes, a pioneer in the water purification systems market, as the goodwill ambassadors for Aquaguard for a five-year term. …

  • All decks cleared for 'Komban'

    Madurai, April 1 (IANS) The Madras High Court bench here on Wednesday refused to pass an interim injunction restraining the makers of actor Karthi-starrer Tamil rural actioner "Komban" from releasing the film in cinemas. Justices S. Tamilvanan and V.S. Ravi turned down a petition filed by Puthiya Tamilagam president K. Krishnasamy seeking a stay on the film's release, claiming it's based on a clash between two castes and could possibly affect the law and order situation in the state. …

  • Ekta Kapoor to turn 'maha judge' for 'Nach Baliye 7'?

    Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) After a long search for a fourth judge for "Nach Baliye 7", producer Ekta Kapoor might herself step into the chair to complete the quartet of judges for the forthcoming dance reality TV show. Bollywood beauties Vidya Balan and Kareena Kapoor Khan were also approached for the spot, but nothing concrete is said to have come out of the talks so far. Other than judges, "MasterChef India 4" judge Ranveer Brar is also expected to join the contestants with his wife Pallavi. …

Loading...