Just when we begin to praise Bollywood for making alternative films, it throws a film like Dhoondte Reh Jaoge in our path making one feel either nervous for having cast an ill omen on the industry, or worse, feeling like a dimwit to have spoken too soon. For all the Farhan Akhtars and Anurag Basus, Bollywood will still sadly, stubbornly retain the David Dhawans who continue to inspire films like DRJ (not that it requires any inspiration to make a film like this).
The plot – a paltry effort by Umesh Shukla, who has the misfortune of writing as well as directing this film – revolves around a once successful director, Raj-jee Chopra, played by the recently crowned king of comedy Paresh Rawal, and an honest but struggling chartered accountant, Kunal Kheemu, who together hatch a diabolical plan to produce a super flop film in the process of which they seek to amass a stupendous 100 crore for themselves. In the process of story telling, the director clearly got deeply imbibed by the fallacies of the character’s plan and ended up creating exactly what his actors aimed to do- a massive flop film that is a dismal and wretched amalgamation of blockbusters like Sholay, DDLJ and Lagaan.
The film includes Soha Ali Khan, Sonu Sood and Johnny Lever who try their level best to support this ludicrous enterprise of a film through their various roles, each of which lack substance and end up as raw characters stuck on celluloid. Paresh Rawal’s stint in Hera Pheri brought him onto the screen as an actor with a comical prowess to reckon with, and since then one sees him type-cast as a comedian and now the act is getting a bit too much and films like Dhoondte… are a disgrace to a veteran like Rawal. On a similar note, Soha seems to be to sinking deep with each film since her entrance to Bollywood, save the patriotic Rang De Basanti and A Wednesday. Even strong creative genes and a mind to match cannot help this Oxford babe get good scripts. It seems like she too will have to follow a protracted torturous path to stardom like brother Saif while viewers are left wondering why the scions of the ethereal Sharmila Tagore could not have learnt a thing or two from her.
Kunal Kheemu, a child star, also suffers from the child star syndrome (there’s a good reason why they’re called child stars you know! They definitely looked better at ten). Like his previous films, Kheemu does a perfect job of looking like his sleazy self, replete with the not so lustrous curls hanging forlornly in gallons of grease. Clearly the boy can act, and he does his role of the naive and honest chartered accountant quite well, but he seriously needs the help of an image consultancy. His saving grace in the film could possible be his entry song ‘Don’t let me miss you, just let me kiss you’- that may leave audiences visibly cringing initially but soon enough get influenced by its catchy tune.
Our bet is that soon enough you will be hearing this song blaring at mehndis. The rest of the soundtrack will quickly, quietly, abashedly sink into musical oblivion. Johnny Lever’s character though is highly amusing. His caricature of a man lost in the vestiges of power is extensively lampooned as he is shown as a ‘joru ka ghulam’ subjugated by his perennially drunk overweight and overbearing sumo wrestler of a wife. At times funny, this character too is too raw and crass to add any value to the film. The title Dhoondte Reh Jaoge is quite apt: one spends 122 minutes trying to figure out why this film was made. The movie certainly is an unending quest for a script, logic and coherence. The dedication of the team to the story is also quite apparent since they managed to create what they were seeking through out the film – a flop – Hani Taha Salim (Rating – 2 OUT OF 5)
Cast and Production Credits
Year – 2009, Genre – Comedy Country – India, Language – Hindi, Producer – Ronnie Screwvala, Director – Omesh Shukla, Music Director – Sajid-Wajid, Cast – Kunal Khemu, Sonu Sood, Soha Ali Khan, Paresh Rawal, Johny Lever, Deepal Shaw, Asrani, Razzak Khan, Avtar Gill