Masala comedy films are here to stay and still have a loyal fan following. Surprisingly, there are currently very few directors who can do justice to such films. Anees Bazmee is one of those who has entertained audiences with a plethora of mainstream comedians over the years. And now he is back with PAGALPANTI and as the name suggests, it promises loads of insanity. So does PAGALPANTI stay true to its title and give the audience a great time? Or does it fail to entertain? Let us analyze.
PAGALPANTI is the story of three ill-fated men who wreak havoc in the underworld. Raj Kishore (John Abraham) is astrologically very inauspicious. Wherever he goes, destruction occurs. He joined the Public Mercantile Bank in India and on the first day of the job, it was revealed that Neeraj Modi (Inamulhaq) had fled the country after stealing Rs. 32,000 crores from the bank. Raj loses his job as a result. He then comes to London where he befriends two brothers, Janki (Arshad Warsi) and Chandu (Pulkit Samrat). He convinces them both to invest money and to set up a fireworks shop. Then, due to Raj’s misfortune, on the very first day, the shop was engulfed in flames. Raj then adopts Sanjana (Ileana D’Cruz). He then pays her and her maternal uncle (Brijendra Kala) a lot of money to start a delivery company with Junk and Chandu. As they make their first delivery, an expensive car, Sanjana, who discovers the truth, arrives with an army of goons to nab Raj. Raj, Junkie and Chandu escape in the delivery truck and escape the clutches of the goons after chasing Nell-Bite and jumping from a flyover. After this, they reach the palace of King Sahab (Saurabh Shukla). It is the birthday of his daughter Janhvi (Kriti Kharbanda) and the expensive car is her gift. Unfortunately, when the car is taken off the track, the goons are found to be extensively damaged due to their careless driving. The car is priced at Rs. 7 crores and to recover this amount from the trio, Raja Saheb’s brother-in-law WiFi brother (Anil Kapoor) offers him a job where he gets Rs. 10 lakhs each. Of course, they will not get money, but their salary will go towards recovering Rs. The car cost 7 crores. Raj, Junkie and Chandu work happily, not realizing that their work could prove fatal. To ensure that there is no poison in Raja Saheb’s food, Junk and Chandu are given the task of tasting the food. Raj is asked to sit in Raja Saheb’s car so that if someone tries to attack, the former will have to bear the brunt of it. All three learn that these precautions are being taken by the brothers of King Sahab’s enemies, Tuli (Zakir Hussain) and Bulli (Ashok Samarth). Realizing that this enmity has gone too far, Raja Saheb and Tuli-Bali’s Guru Baba Jani (Mukesh Tiwari) arrange a meeting with all of them. He advises them to join hands and at the same time presents them to none other than Neeraj Modi. Neeraj gives Rs. 700 crores to Raja Saheb and asked him to invest and double this money. Raj’s vengeance spoils the game in two ways. At first, Raj, Janki and Chandu, not knowing that Raja Saheb is now friends with Tully and Bulli, go ahead and attack Bulli, leaving him badly injured. Subsequently, Raj accidentally set fire to the library which was in Raja Saheb’s house. The fire spread to the stroom where Neeraj Modi’s money is stored. All funds are Rs. 700 crores therefore increases in flames. Realizing that Raj, Janki and Chandu are symbols of bad luck, Raja Saheb and WiFi kick him out of the house. On the same day, Raja Saheb is prevented from placing bets on a derby race due to threats from Tully and Booley. With the WIFI also outside chickens and any other options, they send Raj, Janki and Chandu to put money on their favorite horse, Lucky. However, Raj is advised by a derby specialist to place a bet on another horse, Johnny. Suddenly, Sanjana and her maternal uncle arrive at the scene to get their money back. Raj advises them to put their money on Johnny as well, suggesting that if they win, their money problem will be solved. As luck would have it, Johnny loses the race while Lucky wins! The trio are also afraid to go back to face King Sahab and Wifi and so, they decide to flee to Scotland. What happens next is the rest of the film!
The story of Anees Bazmi, Rajeev Kaul and Praful Parekh is full of madness and is quite cliche as well. Still, it could have made for a good film if the script had been up to the mark. The script by Anees Bazmee, Rajiv Kaul and Prafulla Parekh is sadly disappointing. The writing in the first half is plain lazy, it is repetitive. Seeing Raj spreading misfortune in every situation and then it becomes too much. And in the second half, it is a bhel puri of various films in the past. Anees Bazmi’s dialogues are quite funny but in the absence of a tight script, these one-liners also do not produce the desired effect.
Anees Bazmee’s direction is weak. He has done a lot better in the past and nowhere in PAGALPANTI. The screenplay is not so funny but still the film could have been a bit more entertaining if it had been in line with the genre. But sadly he forced a lot of elements into the film. In one key scene, the characters suddenly become patriotic and it’s embarrassing to be exposed.
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The film titled PAGALPANTI is expected by no one else but a witty comedy. And sure enough, the opening scenes give a reasonable indication that the film is full of crazy scenes. There is nothing wrong in this but the jokes are also not as funny. Some scenes add laughter, such as Junk and Chandu being forced to taste food and Raj realizes that he is driving in Raja Saheb’s car and not Raja Saheb himself. Neeraj Modi’s entry is mentoring. The intermission point also gives a promise that, hopefully, the second half is where the film’s splendor will unfold. Surprisingly, the opposite happens. The scene where the trio survive in a truck filled with glue is still okay. But again, writers and producers add a creepy touch that backfires. The team seemed to have been influenced by the success of horror comedy like Golmaal Again  And store  And so decided to cash in on it. Meanwhile Anus Bazmi’s earlier film, WELCOME, concludes with Wuzoo.  And many other Priyadarshan comedies. Not only this, they also pick up an important visual and dialogue directly from the classic comic caper ANDAZ APNA APNA  And from here the film goes completely downhill.
John Abraham is decent but it is close to the great work he has been doing of late. It is good that he is trying his hand at comedy for a change, but then he should have opted for a film that would have given him a chance to excel. Arshad Warsi is as entertaining as ever. Pulkit Samrat tries his best but is not able to perform as per the demand of his character. Anil Kapoor gets his share of funny scenes, but the writing disappoints him. Saurabh Shukla is quite brilliant. The same goes for Brijendra Kala and it is good to see that he got a chance to move his feet too! Among the heroines, Kriti Kharbanda has to play an interesting character and she does justice. Ileana D’Cruz is strictly fine. Urvashi Rautela enters quite late and is hardly there. Talking about the supporting cast, Inamulhak is very good and the role t him. Jamil Khan (Panditji) plays an important role and is reliable. Mukesh Tiwari, Zakir Hussain and Ashok Samarth are on top. Jiten Mukhi (Mehul Chowki), Naresh Sharma (Raja Saheb’s wallet) and Raja Saheb’s driver (Kanchan Pagare) are fine.
The music is decent. ‘Tum Par Hum Hai Atke’ Suddenly arrives, but there is foot-tapping. ‘Walla’ Well portrayed but the song is nothing great. ‘Bimar Dil’ That is where the film really goes bad. ‘Thumka’ is forced. The title track is played primarily in the background. Sajid-Wajid has better background score. Neeraj Modi’s theme works well.
Sunil Patel’s cinematography is appropriate. The production design of Durgaprasad Mahapatra is attractive. Pradyuman Kumar Swain’s action is not so memorable. The costumes of Anushka Tugneet, Sanam Ratanasi, Kshitij Kankaria Shamnaz Parikh, Rahil Raja and Himanshi Nizhavan are very glamorous and sexy, especially worn by girls. NY VFXWaala and Final Post’s VFX are exclusively in the Leo scene. Prashant Singh Rathore’s editing is not up to the mark.
Overall, PAGALPANTI fails to raise the desired amount of laughter due to lazy writing and recycled jokes. The film is strictly for viewers who like intelligent entertainment.