Govinda’s film is a painful reminder of the collapse of the comic caper in Bollywood, but it’s still better than Rascals
There is a don (oh, there are many of them peeping out of every nook and cranny of this abominable comedy) played by Prem Chopra who loves Meena Kumari and Pakeezah. Sighing loudly he tells another don, played with lipsmacking relish by Mahesh Manjrekar, ‘They don’t make heroines like Meena Kumari any more. She was someone you wanted to marry. Nowadays the heroines are good for only one thing’. That is just about the most subtle dialogue you will get to hear in this in-your-face farce where three small-time wastrels – Govinda, Jaffrey and Mahaakshay, and a scowling goon Suniel Shetty – take off to Pattaya. What follows is a fiesta of fatuous gags and dialogues including of course, bad puns on ‘pattaya’ and ‘guard’. Wouldn’t miss out on that.
Loot looks like an unfinished product from a group of actors and technicians who lost their way in transit. This one should have ideally remained in the cans. Just why Suniel invested into this piece of filmed garbage is anyone’s guess.
May be he thought it would be a fun caper, a sort of Oceans 11 with lots of lowbow jokes about ‘andar daalí and ‘baahar khol’. Come on! Crudity by its very nature requires a very high amount of discipline and dedication to be convincing and inoffensive on scene. The crassness in Loot is simply boring. The characters are most frequently seen lolling around in hotel rooms, waiting for the dialogue writer to come up with some more oafish innuendos. In the meanwhile there is a whole truckload of gangsters, goons, dons and hoodlums waiting to pounce on the plot at the drop of a hat. The world never seemed more unsafe.
Govinda’s habitual abilities to improvise do see some of the scenes to a kind of culmination. And Suniel remains true to his character, while Manjrekar along with his sidekick Razaak Khan share the film’s only genuinely funny sequence. But most of the time, the actors seem as clueless about their next move as the scriptwriter. So they just decide to have fun with the pun.
Somewhere in the initial reels singer Mika and starlet Kim Sharma (long time no see) pop up as part of a street gang in Pattaya. They add considerably to the overall confusion of the proceedings. Really, you’d need nerves of steel to sit through this mishmash of misdirected mirth and over-done cockiness. The actors try hard not to look bored. The performances in this deflated farce are better than the recent Rascals where the actors tried hard to be funny. Here no one makes an effort except the dialogue writer who seems to be falling off his chair in delight at his torrent of double entendres.
If only we knew what was so funny. Loot is a hoot. And a painful reminder of the collapse of the comic caper in Bollywood in a heap of inadequacy. The writing reaches a stalemate even before the actors warm up to their roles. And then it’s downhill all the way.
Film: Loot; Cast: Govinda, Suniel Shetty, Javed Jaffrey, Mahaaskshay Chakbraborty, Ravi Kissan and Prem Chopra; Director; Rajneesh Thakur.