×

Bol Bachchan

Another Rohit Shetty version of the 1979 Indian classic "Gol maal," "Bol Bachchan" carries off its rapidly thinning, virtually villain-free plot thanks to its fast-paced presentation of a storyline that hinges on a succession of double identities and escalating fabrications.

With:
With Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai, Asrani, Archana Puran Singh, Krishna Abhishek, Neeraj Vora, Jeetu Verma. (Hindi dialogue)

Another Rohit Shetty version of the 1979 Indian classic “Gol maal,” “Bol Bachchan” carries off its rapidly thinning, virtually villain-free plot thanks to its fast-paced presentation of a storyline that hinges on a succession of double identities and escalating fabrications. Pitting two Bollywood icons, Abhishek Bachchan and Ajay Devgn, as lying employee and lied-to boss, the pic is a well-stocked farce with idiots aplenty; though it will curry little critical favor (it opened worldwide July 6), it should reap big box office rewards.

“Bol Bachchan” reprises a surprising number of “Gol maal’s” principal plot points, minus the original’s impeccable comic timing. Pic nevertheless keeps its plates spinning and hoops in the air with commendable aplomb, though few elements prove particularly funny in and of themselves.

Abbas Ali (Bachchan), having lost his late father’s house and all his own money due to the singular incompetence of his attorney, is persuaded to leave Delhi for the feudal village of Ranakpur, where his honorary uncle, Shastri (Asrani), offers him lodging and a job with the local benefactor/strongman Prithviraj (Devgn), who hates liars, and has been known to kill those he hates.

Upon his arrival, Ali rescues a drowning boy. When Prithviraj asks the rescuer’s name, Shastri’s actor son Ravi (Krishna Abhishek) quickly “invents” a non-Muslim handle, Abhishek Bachchan, the name of the actor who plays the role; one of the pic’s myriad labored in-jokes then has Ravi and Ali rattling off a list of Bachchan’s actual screen credits. So begins the first tier in the tower of lies.

When Prithviraj spies Ali at a Muslim prayer meeting, the ever-inventive Ravi conjures up an illegitimate Muslim identical twin — unlike “Bachchan,” he sports no mustache and is gay. As the fabrications mount, they engender further falsehoods. Thus the excuse of a sick mother produces three aspirants to the role in rapid succession, desperately explained away as a mother (Archana Puran Singh), a nanny and a maid-mother. But even the designated mother must soon impersonate twin sisters in the unnatural course of events.

Meanwhile, romance blossoms between Prithviraj and Sania (a dead ringer for his deceased sweetheart) and between Ali and Prithviraj’s sister Radhika (Prachi Desai), neither relationship sparking much oncamera chemistry nor launching any catchy tunes. Indeed, except for a marvelously over-the-top opening number, few musical interludes possess pizazz.

Devgn performs magnificently as a dumbed-down, gullible version of his usual heroic self, a muscle-bound Dudley Do-Right disposing of an entire cast of opposing henchmen. His outright slaughter of the English language (“a brother in need is a sister indeed”) is matched only by his dedication to motherhood, piety and, of course, honesty. Bachchan underwhelms as the straight lead, but his pouty, lisping, sashaying, dancing alter ego, registering less as gay parody than as feverish role-playing, affords the pic’s funniest, least trying gags.

Tech credits are highly accomplished if sometimes unimaginative. Loosely translated, the pic’s title means “tower of lies.”

Bol Bachchan

India

Production: A Fox Intl. Prods. release of a Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision, Ajay Devgn Films production. Produced by Devgn, Shree Ashtavinayak. Co-producers, Dhavel Jatania, Hiren Gandhi, Rupen Amlani, Kumar Mangat Pathak. Directed by Rohit Shetty. Screenplay, Yunus Sajawel; dialogue, Farhad Sajid.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Dudley; editor, Steven Bernard; music, Amar Mohili; songs, Himesh Reshammiya, Ajay-Atul; lyrics, Swanand Kirkire, Farhad Sajid, Shabbir Ahmed; production designer, Narendra Rahurika; costume designers, Alvira Agnihoti, Ashley Rebello; sound, Rakesh Ranjan; choreographers, Chinni Prakash, Rekha Prakash, Raju Khan, Mudassar Khan; action director, Jar Singh Nijjar. Reviewed at Big Cinemas Manhattan, New York, July 5, 2012. Running time: 150 MIN. (I: 80 MIN.; II: 70 MIN.)

With: With Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Asin, Prachi Desai, Asrani, Archana Puran Singh, Krishna Abhishek, Neeraj Vora, Jeetu Verma. (Hindi dialogue)

More Film

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, even with China opening last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start in North America, “The Lion King” [...]

  • Scarlett JohanssonMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Scarlett Johansson Reveals What We'll Learn About Black Widow in Stand-Alone Movie

    Scarlett Johansson can finally talk about her upcoming “Black Widow” movie. While she can’t divulge spoilers, she let out a big sigh of relief after the film was officially announced on Saturday during the Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con. “I feel like a weight has been lifted,” the Oscar nominee told Variety. “Black Widow” is [...]

  • The Lion King Box Office

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Rules With $185 Million Debut

    Simba and Mufasa reigned supreme this weekend as Disney’s “The Lion King” dominated box office charts. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the animated classic collected a massive $185 million from 4,756 North American theaters during its first three days of release. The movie landed the best domestic launch for a PG film and set a [...]

  • Creative-Producers-Indaba-Cover-Image-1920x1080-px-2

    Realness, EAVE, IFFR, Sundance Launch African Producers Network

    DURBAN–South Africa’s Realness Institute, EAVE, the Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Sundance Institute are joining forces to create the Creative Producers Indaba, a professional training program designed to support emerging African producers. Inspired by initiatives such as the EAVE Producers Workshop and Sundance’s Creative Producing, the program will bring together 15 participants to develop [...]

  • BOTM-Eve-Viper-Gang

    Director Angus Gibson: My Audience is ‘Young, Black South Africans’

    DURBAN–Sophiatown, 1958. On the outskirts of Johannesburg, as the apartheid police prepare to demolish the community at the heart of black South African cultural and intellectual life, a notorious gang leader is determined to make a last stand. Resisting the forced evictions that will transport the residents of Sophiatown to a desolate township miles away, [...]

  • marvel

    Marvel Phase 4 Plan Revealed, But Comic-Con’s Big Winner is Disney Plus

    In a triumphant return to the San Diego Comic-Con main stage, leadership at Marvel Studios managed some splashy surprises and showed off risky creative bets for the next two years of content coming from the superhero operation. But the biggest takeaway from the Saturday presentation inside Hall H was how important Marvel will make Disney [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content