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Bombay to Bangkok fails to rock
Nagesh Kukunoor first made headlines in the mid 90’s, when in spite of masala kitsch being the order of the box-office, he defied it by churning out probably, India’s first cross-over flick, Hyderabad Blues.
THE FIRST thing (and the only thing) that you notice about Bombay To Bangkok is that it is made in the format of the yore 35mm and not the regular 35mm cinemascope (wonder why? The film has the backing of Mr Moneybags read, Ghai).
 
Now, why is the film called Bombay To Bangkok?
 
When in the opening sequence itself the protagonist refers to the metro as Mumbai. Is it the time warp (the formulaic approach of the 80’s and 90’s), when Mumbai was still the charm oozing Bombay for the world!
 
The film offers no answers
 
The film tells the story of a cook (ShreyasTalpade) who like any other denizen of Mumbai dreams of a better life. He flicks off a wad (of notes, of course) that belongs to Khan Seth (Naseeruddin Shah, in the most forgettable cameo). Khan directs his son with a fetish for rap, Jam K (slang for Jamaal Khan) to get his booty back.
 
Shreyas who plans to flee to Dubai (where else) finds fate playing its part and he lands in Bangkok with a medical team headed by Dr Tripathi (Yatin Karyekar). On the opening night itself, the local support Rash (Manmeet Singh) organises a carnal rendezvous at the now infamous Thai-massage parlour, and the hero gets to meet the heroine.
 
The sanskrati se bharpoor hero doesn’t want to lay her, as he feels it is beyond a man’s dignity (he will rather win her love). The rest of the narrative is about this complexity called love.
 
Dor and Iqbal were the two masterpieces by Nagesh Kukunoor, their hallmark being deft were writing and gripping screenplay. Bombay To Bangkok suffers on both these attributes. A better screenplay could have infused life into the mundane proceedings. In fact, the climax with Yatin Karyekar selling the medicines to drug-mafia is force-fit, just to lengthen up the film.
 
The first half moves at snail’s pace and second half gets tardier. The music is just about average and the production values fair.
 
Shreyas Talpade performed with much more control in his last outing Om Shanti Om, a very competent and tremendously gifted actor; this is his first average performance! Lena does a fair job. Vijay Maurya brilliantly enacts the part of goon, who would rap rather than rape, however his character is half-baked and many times doesn’t even fit into the narrative of the film. Still he gels well with the audience. Manmeet Singh and Yatin Karyekar are limited due to weak characterisation. Naseeruddin Shah is totally wasted.
 
A word of advice to Nagesh, after winning laurels for good work like Dor and Iqbal, it is better to wait and direct a film befitting your profile rather than jump into bollywood inanity like Bombay To Bangkok.
 
The rating of this movie: 1 on 10.
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