By now it's almost become an obvious fact that critical acclaim and mass appeal don't go hand in hand. Only those films that get severely panned by critics make it to the new found 100Cr club of the Hindi Film Industry. Hence it wouldn't be any surprise if Bol Bachchan too just like its predecessors goes onto collecting big bucks at the box-office.
Inspired by Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Gol Maal, Bol Bachchan takes the idea of double identity and gives it a new age spin. But does that guarantee a film as iconic as the cult comedy? On Shastri's (Asrani) behest Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) along with his sister Sania (Asin) moves to Ranakpur from Delhi after having suffered a loss. His job hunt leads him to Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgn), an apparent hot headed wrestler cum king of Ranakpur who hates only one thing, lies!
Once in Ranakpur both Abbas Ali as well as the audience are thrown in on multiple characters like Ravi (Krushna Abhishek) who's Shastri's son, get the joke eh? Moving on, there's Prithviraj's sister Radhika (Prachi Desai) and his aide (Neeraj Vohra) among plenty others.
Abbas accidentally falls prey to an indistinct situation which makes him lie about his name. From there starts the twisted tale. Abbas calls himself Abhishek Bachchan; on being caught he makes up a story of a brother from another mother. One lie leads to another and that to another till the whole story becomes one big comedy of errors or error in comedy! Ahem!
Unlike many other adaptations, despite buying the rights of the original film, Rohit Shetty only takes the germ of the film and infuses his typical filmmaking elements of slapstick buffoonery, car blowing shots, chases, etc and ends the film in a very Priyadarshan-Anees Bazmee style mostly reminscient of the latter's No Entry.
The filmmaker's humour comes through his characters. So while you have Ajay Devgn's character who is so smitten by the English language that despite not knowing the language he prefers talking only in it. So you have dialogues like 'success is the keyhole to saxophone, every penny discounts, pest control yourself, thanks for the complan boy, your eardrums are playing drums; boy in armpit, hyper city noise pollution, Honesty is the best mutual policy et al. Then there are multiple potshots at the homosexual tribe as Abbas's twin sans moustache plays gay. You also have an ageing mujra dancer Zohra (Archana Puran Singh) who plays the fake mother to Abbas Ali.
At a run time of 2hours 40minutes, Bol Bachchan, Rohit also throws some random song and dance sequences starting with the excruciatingly long title track featuring Amitabh Bachchan that comes at the start. There are scenes of a motley group preparing for a theater adaptation of the Amol Palekar starrer Gol Maal that runs in the parallel more like a tribute to the original film followed by some long-drawn meaningless action sequences.
Ajay Devgn essays his part perfectly as his chemistry and comfort which Rohit Shetty's style of comedy can be seen while Abhishek struggles to act funny mostly crossing the line of buffoonery and ends up hamming and over-acting. Asin and Prachi don't have much to offer to the story. You have Asrani playing a character one has seen him playing for eons and there's some times-funny-other times-hamming Krushna Abhishek, probably an entry into the film courtesy Rohit's judging spree in the comedy show.
The only lady who provides some great humour to the film is Archana Puran Singh who manages her part with utmost ease and exhibits brilliant and flawless comic timing.
To sum it up, Bol Bachchan is yet another low IQ comedy from the Rohit Shetty-Ajay Devgn team. May work for the cinegoers who do prefer giving their brains mindless numbness and lead films like these to massive revenue collections.