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NAUTANKI SAALA: Dedh paise ki crappy comedy

Nothing works in this crappy comedy that relies heavily on Ramleela spoofery to coax and poke laughter out of its audience. If you find anything funny in this film please go and have your IQ tested to get duly certified as an idiot. If you are blessed enough to suffer from some laughter disease and can laugh at anything and everything why go to a multiplex to savor oily samosas, soggy popcorns, and sugary flat colas: Save your money, sit at home, eat healthy food, and watch Doordarshan’s Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) telecasts.

And for a genuine laughter experience you have so much going on the idiot box, from pathetically rabid secularists and news anchors busy in their regulation Modi hating and baiting to the Comedy Circus skits. 

Motor mouth Ram Parmar (Ayushmann Khurrana) plays a stylized Raavan in a super-hit play ‘Raavan Leela’ which is also directed by him. He saves an idiot of a fatso Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) from hanging himself from a tree nearly in the middle of the road in a midnight suicide attempt. The good fellow provides room and board to the manic-depressive and after having discovered the cause behind the sloppy floppy fatso’s intense desire to die, tries to help him.

The cause is a beautiful florist Nandini Patel (Pooja Salvi). The fatso was in love with her. They had a break up. The girl wanted someone to take care of her while the fatso himself needed a lot of caring, mothering, and free maintenance.

Ram tries to bring them together and ends up falling in love with the girl after a record-breaking lip-chewing encounter. This complicates the matter a bit. Ram feels very guilty and needs psychoanalysis to deal with it. All ends quite predictably - the hero gets the heroine, and the side hero gets a role in Raavan Leela as Hanuman.

Making this film must have been a hilarious experience for the film’s writers, director, producer, financers, distributors, and the cast and crew. That can be the only reason for the film to have been made. Blessed are they for having been able to afford such extravagance.  Who am I, a poor film reviewer, to carp, criticize, and analyze their masterpiece? They certainly know better about what they have done. I must have missed their point somewhere to term this film a crappy comedy. May be it’s me who is an idiot in this equation. Why else should I be writing this review?

I give one star to the film – for the wisdom displayed by Jr. Bachchan who preferred a friendly appearance in the film to playing a full-fledged Raavan yet again. 

Rajesh Kumar Singh