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When three is noise

David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor will bring out the raging purist in you. The purist, you thought, never existed because you are not against the idea of remakes and reinvention. Against this film, your hidden purist will rouse and cry.

In Dhawan’s version, the jokes are loud and facile, and piercing in the bad literal way. Characters and performances are accordingly doltish. Remember Dhawan’s early 1990s’ films like Raja Babu and Coolie No. 1? Chashme Baddoor has the exact template—mindlessness and regressive humour as motives for mass appeal—but set in an India where there are malls. The characters are as sexist as those Govinda staples; the writing uses stereotypes only for insipid jokes. The production value is abysmally low—cinematography, costumes, choreography and even some locations are eyesores.

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They live in a rented room inside a rambling house in Goa owned by Miss Josephine (Lilette Dubey) and they are indebted to Joseph Furtado (Rishi Kapoor) who allows them to eat at his cafe on credit. The boys are in perennial penury. A new girl in town, Seema (Taapsee Pannu), sets their world on a whirl of petty lies, jealousy and romance. In a subplot with a few charming moments, Joseph and Josephine pursue each other surreptitiously and finally breaks the ice with the help of ‘Chamko washing powder’. The Chamko refrain of the original gets a poorly imagined twist.

Zafar, Siddharth, Sharma and Pannu try to pull off a Govinda without the gift of comic timing and with overacted gags. Rishi Kapoor is in a role that seems to inspire only indifference, although even so he has some cute moments as the boisterous and bumbling Joseph in love.

Chashme Baddoor could have been a riot; it ends as a hollow scream.

Chashme Baddoor released in theatres on Friday

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