Films | Movie Reviews | Pappu Can’t Dance Saala: Movie Review

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala: Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on December 16, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Ravindra Singh, Sameer Nair
DIRECTOR – Saurabh Shukla
WRITER – Saurabh Shukla
CAST – Vinay Pathak, Neha Dhupia
MUSIC – Malhar

When small-town dreams come to big bad cities they find a jarring dissonance. The big city has its own rhythm that the small-towners continue to struggle to keep time with. ‘Pappu Can’t Dance Saala’ is constructed around this very premise, aiming to explore what happens when two disparate worlds collide.

Saurabh Shukla throws an unlikely couple in close proximity and plays with the resultant fireworks. Vidyadhar aka Pappu (Vinay Pathak), a medical rep has arrived to Mumbai from Varanasi. Mahek (Neha Dhupia) is a chorus dancer-girl in Bollywood, come from Kolhapur and lives next door. Until she is thrown out of her flat for illegal occupancy and dumps herself on Pappu. The morally superior simpleton Pappu is forced to accommodate this brash Mumbai girl and her brazen lifestyle. Something he did till now only from across the corridor. Things escalate from red-hot to frozen temperatures and soon both go their separate ways. But not before they have struck a tender chord within each other. What’s in store for them now?

From a commentary on rural-vs-urban living the film ultimately peters down to a love story. It has a few good dance numbers performed with a statuesque poise by Neha Dhupia and crisp dialogues that keep the pace tingling. Yet, it continues to drop time and again. It rides itself on cliché after cliché be it the simpleton, morally upright and naïve character of Pappu or the discordant relationship he shares with the aggressive Mahek. They don’t have reason to be at loggerheads but they are and well, the film gives you no choice but to go along with it. While the aggressive Mahek becomes a pleasure to watch given the confident performance of Neha Dhupia, it is the simpleton Pappu that evokes a tattered, ‘seen-that-before’ feeling. Pappu has been on-screen from the days of Amol Palekar but then he used to be mild-mannered and undramatic. These days he is always dramatic, morally arrogant and so naïve the lack of realism in his character becomes surprising. When he is simply being used to create laughs he works at his best such as Bheja Fry. But when he is meant to evoke a deeper response, deeper relation he falls flat. Vinay Pathak, reprises the roles he always plays and pitches Pappu in the same manner he always does leaving us to take-away no joy.

The film is handled with a certain tenderness and heart, never letting it get too heavy or too light. But a cliché-ridden screenplay snuffs out any chance of sustaining rib-tickling interest. It uses talents like Naseeruddin Shah, Sanjay Mishra, and Rajat Kapoor to little avail frittering away their presence in roles that don’t matter in a film that doesn’t ened up mattering much either.

FATEMA KAGALWALA

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