Nine years ago, having conquered the world of nasal singing, Himesh Reshammiya decided to enter the acting business with Aap Kaa Surroor. A few things have changed since then: his once-trademark cap is gone and he’s acquired a body that looks photoshopped and not even a little aesthetically pleasing. But that blank, sullen expression, that inability to be even slightly interesting in front of the camera, that persists.

Apart from featuring Reshammiya and taking place in Europe, Teraa Surroor has nothing to do with the earlier, more politely titled film. Raghu (Reshammiya), who’s about to be married to Tara (Farah Karimaee), cheats on her with some girl he meets at a Mumbai nightclub. He then confesses to her, omitting the more explosive fact that he’s a hitman. They break up; she heads to Dublin because a Facebook friend named Aniruddh Brahmin has invited her to perform on “India Day". Soon, she finds herself framed for drug trafficking and sentenced to seven years in prison. Raghu responds by killing Brahmin’s men, thereby destroying all links to the man who holds the key to Tara’s innocence. You would think this would be a problem, but the film simply has Raghu coming across a billboard advertising a book by a jailbreak expert, Robin Santino (Naseeruddin Shah), conveniently accessible in a Dublin jail.

All of Reshammiya’s films lie somewhere on the spectrum from so-bad-it’s-good to so-bad-you-want-to-gouge-your-eyes-out. Teraa Surroor has its moments of campy fun, like when Raghu tells Tara, “I never cheated on you. I did it for my profession"; or when Shekhar Kapur, playing the Indian ambassador, asks whether he’s been called to exchange coffee over pleasantries, instead of the other way around. Director Shawn Arranha is stunningly literal: If someone is talking about a Facebook account being deleted, he will actually cut to the act in progress, as if we would have trouble believing it otherwise. It’s possible—even necessary for one’s sanity—to laugh at details like this, but after a while, the sheer ineptitude and the wastage of time and money start to weigh on you.

It’s nice of Monica Dogra (playing a lawyer who, we are told, wanted to represent Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden) to do a cameo and take some of the heat off Karimaee, who comes from the Nargis Fakhri school of acting—which is to say, no acting at all. They can both take heart from their co-star, whose career is testament to the fact that success in Bollywood often has little to do with talent and everything to do with self-deluding confidence. This is Reshammiya’s one true achievement. He believed he was a star so fervently that everyone else ended up believing it too.


Teraa Surroor released in theatres on Friday.

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