*ing: Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade, Riya Sen, Koena Mitra, Celina Jaitley
Direction: Sangeeth Sivan
Storyline: THE THING about brainless slapstick is that you either love it or loathe it. Served without apologies and by throwing political correctness out of the window, below-the-belt humour can be the stuff for random guilty bliss in the dark confines of the theatre. Or, alternately, stuff that makes you squirm at what showbiz is coming to.
Sangeeth Sivan’s Apna Sapna Money Money fits both definitions that way – you can love it or loathe it, depending on how you look at it. Sivan, who tasted Bollywood blood by way of the equally nonsensical Kya Kool Hain Hum last year, goes no-holds barred with his new film. Clearly, he knows the game well enough by now – he goes the whole hog with cheap thrills to keep the gag quotient rolling. A hero in drag, heroines in itsy-bitsy skimpies, vil lains that spoof every Bollywood clich, crass dialogue, a dog that is smarter than most of the humans in the cast – it is one madcap rollercoaster that director Sivan unleashes.
The little that the film unfolds by way of a story broadly borrows from Brij Sadanah’s 1972 comedy Victoria No. 203. Like that Ashok Kumar-Pran starrer, it’s all about precious diamonds hidden away somewhere. Everyone in the cast wants a piece of the stones naturally Any resemblance to. Victoria No. 203, however, ends with the thematic similarity Apna Sapna… is neither loyal to logic, nor does the film make an attempt at being pathbreaking comedy.
Sivan’s cast is a merry bunch of morons sold on chasing big money: a dreamy-eyed mechanic (Shreyas Talpade), a conman who is also a master of disguises (Riteish Deshmukh), a hottie club dancer (Koena Mitra), an honest cop (Suniel Shetty), an irritatingly clownish father (Anupam Kher) and his demure daughter (Riya Sen, surprisingly all covered up in this film), a tabela waala (Rajpal Yadav) with a Sarkar hangover (yes, Sarkar as in the Big B), a stupid Nepalese gangster (Chunkey Pandey), a don who tries his best to look menacing (Jackie Shroff), and his moll who tries her best to look sexy (Celina Jaitley). They are all chasing the diamonds.
Crass it is – still, the film could have been hilarious, if the climax was more deftly handled. Sadly, the finale, supposedly funny, fails to evoke the required laughs. In an era when mindless mazaa has mostly spelt quick bucks at the box-office, Apna Sapna… looks like a safe bet. Only, it is like streetside junk food, served bindaas. If you don’t mind the fact that it doesn’t fill your appetite, you certainly won’t complain giving the film a dekko.