The Film: Hungama
Producer: Venus Record and Tapes Pvt. Ltd
Starring: Akshaye Khanna, Paresh Rawal, Rimi Sen, Shoma Anand, Shakti Kapoor & Aftab Shivdasani
Venus Records & Tapes Pvt. Ltd.'s Hungama is a comedy of errors. A young girl and a young boy are house-hunting in Bombay and are forced to pose as a married couple to be able to occupy a room at a very reasonable rent. The two fall in love with each other after the mandatory initial bickerings. The girl takes up a job in an electronics goods showroom. She is mistaken by the young owner of the showroom to be the daughter of a rich businessman who has come to Bombay with his wife for a brief stay. The showroom owner falls in love with the girl who has the same name (Anjali) as that of her supposed mother (rich businessman's wife).
Unable to tell him that she is not who he thinks, the girl all along pretends to be the rich businessman's daughter who has taken up a small job only because she is independent-minded. All hell breaks loose in the lives of the middle-aged couple when the wife suspects her spouse of having an affair with her namesake and he suspects her of carrying on an affair with the young showroom owner.
There's another track of an imposter who holds himself out to be the rich businessman's son in order to get married to a rich girl. This creates a further misunderstanding. There's yet another track of a dim-witted boy selected by the young girl's parents, who comes to Bombay in search of her and who is mistaken for somebody else. All the misunderstandings are cleared in a comical climax.
The film's mainstay is the situational comedy. But the story and screenplay seem to have been so casually written that there's no base or logic to several scenes. For instance, showing the girl and her room-mate falling in love with each other is not convincing. The reason for the girl not revealing her true identity to the showroom owner also does not seem very believable. In short, the above and many other incidents give the clear impression that the aim of the makers is to simply make the audience laugh. While the illogicalities may be overlooked by a section of the audience (those fond of comedies, especially in Bombay and Maharashtra), there will be others who would be put off by the illogicalities.
The first half of the film has its share of funny moments but not only are they few, they are also not all novel. The first few reels especially are ordinary. But the comedy picks up after interval and, if one were to leave logic aside completely, he'd truly enjoy the second half. The climax is crazy and quite funny.
Akshaye Khanna does a natural job as the showroom owner. Aftab Shivdasani, as the girl's room-mate, gets lesser scope than Akshaye and is alright. In fact, the best comic scenes are reserved neither for Akshaye nor for Aftab but for the supporting artistes. Rimi Sen makes a fair debut as Aftab's room-partner and Akshaye's employee. She looks reasonably good and acts quite well. Paresh Rawal is the real hero of the film and does an excellent job of the comic scenes. He plays the rich businessman with elan. His sense of timing, dialogue delivery, facial expressions and acting are all excellent.
Shoma Anand enacts the comic role of Paresh Rawal's wife to perfection. She too adds to the film's comic flavour. Rajpal Yadav is superb and provides many a comic moment with his free style of acting. Neena Kulkarni and Amit Divetia shine as Akshaye's parents. Razak Khan leaves a mark. Tiku Talsania is his usual funny self. Upasna Singh, as Tiku's wife, scores. Her absence in the climax is felt. Shakti Kapoor delivers a lovely performance. Sanjay Narvekar is okay. Jagadish, as the servant, is loud. Manoj Joshi is okay.
Priyadarsan's direction is one-dimensional. In a bid to make a comic fare, he has sacrificed the other emotions completely. In that sense, the scripting as well as the making of the film give the impression that they have been rush jobs. However, it must be said that for those who love comedies, the second half of the film is a laugh-riot. Neeraj Vora's dialogue are good and go with the mood of the film. Music (Nadeem Shravan) is melodious but the ordinary song picturisations and, at times, lack of situations for them rob them of part of their appeal. 'Pari pari', 'Tera dil mere paas hai', 'Hum nahin' and 'Ishq jab ek taraf' are melodious numbers. Camerawork and other technical values are good.
On the whole, Hungama is for the cities and multiplexes mainly. While its reasonable price is its biggest asset, its ordinary start (in some circuits) is its greatest drawback.