A local cinema shows Bollywood films from time to time and this one actually got good reviews and audience response, so I went to check it out. It’s got a great pedigree, starring Amitabh Bachchan, a venerable actor (you might remember him from Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby) and Irrfan Khan (from Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man & a really, really wonderful Indian movie called The Lunchbox where he played the lead). But, boy, it is pretty terrible. Anyway, Bachchan plays a cantankerous old man, afflicted with intense gastrointestinal issues, who wants to travel to see some of his family he hasn’t seen in ages. Deepika Padukone is his hard-charging, career oriented daughter who decides to accompany him. Irrfan Kahn is the roguish driver they hire to transport them. Obviously, father and daughter will squabble and eventually bond and daughter and driver will squabble and eventually fall in love. Okay, I’m not averse to clichés. But this movie just really didn’t work at all. It was far, far too broad at times and yet also crossed into the mawkish at times. Bachchan in particular plays his character as far too much of a cartoon for us to ever really think of him as a real person. Khan and Padukone are charming, but the script is just pedestrian. And strangely fixated on toilet humor. I don’t know that I’ve seen a movie that spent as much time on poop that wasn’t a Jackass movie. Or maybe none at all, to be perfectly honest; they talk about it constantly and Bachchan is forever passing gas incredibly noisily. I mean, what? It’s just a very strange, completely unsatisfying movie. Strongly recommended against. 1 ½ stars.
tl;dr – Bollywood film can’t find a balance between juvenile, cartoonish, gross-out humor and serious drama; charming actors can’t save a film this strained. 1 ½ stars.