Phas Gaye Re Obama: Phas Gaye Re Obama is a delightful end-of-the-year surprise package.
Starring: Rajat Kapoor, Sanjay Mishra, Manu Rishi, Amol Gupte, Neha Dhupia
Direction: Subhash Kapoor
Duration: 2 hours
Rating: ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5)
If you can connect the crumbling of Wall Street to the `vela’ (idle) gangs of moffusil India, you got to be smart. And if you can translate Obama’s `Yes We Can’ anthem into a bunch of small time hoodlums’ war cry, then you got to be extra smart. And that’s what smarty-pants director Subhash Kapoor manages to do with his smart-alec cast of actors who bring to life a roll call of characters that make you chuckle with glee.
From the Big Apple to the backwaters of small town India, this comedy of errors lives and breathes fire through its colourful characters and its witty screenplay. Unlike the usual run-of-the-mill comedies which Bollywood thrives on, Phas Gaye… makes you laugh because of its zany situations, rather than elicit canned laughter by making people slip over banana peels, go scatological or hit and pinch each other insanely. If Om Shastri is a conniving wheeler-dealer from Amreeka, then Bhaisaheb (Sanjay Mishra) is the local dada who is bogged down by the `mandee’ (recession) in his business of extortion and kidnapping. Yeh mandee aaye kahan se? (Where has this recession come from) he asks his cronies. From Amreeka, they reply and manage to connect their crime and punishment graph to the going-ons in world politics: the trauma of Obama, the fate of Saddam, the goof-ups of Bush. And it isn’t Bhaisaheb alone but his entire biradari (brotherhood) of bhai-log (small-timer Manu Rishi, Lady Gabbar Neha Dhupia, crooked politician Amol Gupte) who seem to affected by the economic meltdown in Obama’s regime.
Terrific performances, ticklish humour and a trick-and-treat plot line: Phas Gaye Re Obama is a delightful end-of-the-year surprise package. After gargantuan disasters like Chandni Chowk to China, Warner Inc seems to have realised that small — yet smart — is truly beautiful. Remember Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?