Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ Chashme Baddoor (UA), remake of Sai Paranjpye’s film of the same name, is the story of three friends and how two of them try to create a wedge between the third friend and his girlfriend, only to realise their folly later. Siddharth Kashyap (Ali Zafar), Jay (Siddharth) and Omkar alias Omi (Divyendu Sharma) are bosom pals who share a house, the rent for which they are unable to pay as they don’t have any source of income. The house is owned by a middle-aged spinster, Josephine (Lilette Dubey), who has a heart of gold and is, therefore, unable to throw the trio out despite their defaults. The friends depend upon Joseph Furtado (Rishi Kapoor) for their meals and although they have no money to pay him too, he keeps providing them food from his restaurant because of his large heart and good nature. Joseph is a middle-aged bachelor.
One day, Jay and Omi see Seema Ranjan (newfind Taapsee Pannu) and fall head over heels in love with her. Seema has run away from her father’s (Anupam Kher) home and come to stay with her uncle (Anupam Kher in a double role) and grandmother (Bharti Achrekar). This is because her armyman-father wants to get her married to an armyman, Major Pratap (Ayaz Khan), while she does not want to marry him. Seema’s father and uncle are constantly at loggerheads as the uncle wants a civilian husband for Seema.
Jay and Omi, one by one, try to woo Seema but fail miserably in their attempts. However, each of them brags, in front of his two friends, about the royal treatment he had received at the hands of Seema. One day, Siddharth accidentally bumps into Seema and sparks fly between them. Their romance blossoms but Jay and Omi try to nip the romance by telling Siddharth uncomplimentary things about Seema.
The three friends had one day planned to get Joseph and Josephine married so that the two would forever remain obligated to them and, therefore, let them stay for free in the house and eat at the restaurant without bothering to pay the bills. Alongside trying to separate Siddharth from Seema, the jealous Jay and Omi also try to prevent Joseph and Josephine from uniting in matrimony.
Siddharth breaks up from Seema. Joseph and Josephine’s love story is also in the danger of becoming history. Soon, Jay and Omi realise that they are not right in poisoning Siddharth’s mind against Seema. So what do they do? Are they able to get Siddharth and Seema together again? Why did Jay and Omi try to thwart the plan to get Joseph married with Josephine? Do Joseph and Josephine finally marry one another?
The story of the old Chashme Buddoor is nice and lends itself to a lot of comic situations. However, Renuka Kunzru’s screenplay is not very smooth and engaging. She leaves some important points unexplained. For instance, why do Jay and Omi try to stall the marriage of Joseph and Josephine? If they feared that Joseph and Josephine would support Siddharth and Seema’s romance, well, they would do it even if they did not get married. The three friends had, in the first place, decided to bring Joseph and Josephine together so that the couple would remain grateful to them for all times to come, thereby ensuring that the friends would have to pay neither their rent nor their food bills. So why would two, of the three, broke friends work against their own plan? Also, Siddharth, who is shown to be the sober one of the lot and who is the hero of the subject, agreeing to bring Joseph and Josephine together for their (three friends’) personal gain does not behove his character.
Having said this, it must be added that the first half has several funny anecdotes which will be enjoyed by youngsters. However, there would be another section among the audience, who will find the comic drama a bit too loud. The dialogues, written by Farhad-Sajid, rely too heavily on rhyming words (tukkbandi) and couplets (shairies) to create humour. While some are truly entertaining and evoke a lot of laughter, it does get a bit too much after a point of time. Still, it must be mentioned that the dialogues are about the most entertaining parts of the first half.
The comedy reduces substantially after interval as the drama takes a slightly serious turn. A major drawback of Kunzru’s screenplay is that there are a number of occasions when scenes have been rounded off quite weirdly. For instance, Siddharth picks up his towel and goes towards the bathroom – quite randomly – on at least two occasions. There are many more scenes which conclude rather abruptly or weirdly. On the plus side, the screenplay is fast-paced and does not give the audience time to think. Climax is ordinary.
Ali Zafar seems to be ill at ease enacting several of the scenes which look frivolous. He does a fair job but is unable to make a distinct mark. He doesn’t have too many comic scenes and comic dialogues to mouth. Taapsee Pannu makes an average debut. She doesn’t impress with her acting and is too devoid of glamour for three young men to fall in love with her! Siddharth is very natural and does his loud comedy with a lot of flair and finesse. Divyendu Sharma is also supremely natural and shines with his shairies. He acts with effortless ease. Rishi Kapoor is a veritable delight to watch. He makes every scene he appears in, worthwhile. Lilette Dubey is also lovely in her theatrical style. Anupam Kher goes overboard in some scenes; otherwise, he has his funny moments. Bharti Achrekar lends fair support. Ayaz Khan is okay.
David Dhawan’s direction is fair. His narrative style caters to one class of audience but leaves another class a bit dissatisfied. Sajid-Wajid’s music comprises two good songs – ‘Dhishkyaaoon’ and ‘Har ek friend’. The other songs needed to be far better. Lyrics, penned by Jalees Sherwani, Neelesh Misra and Kausar Munir, are appealing, especially in the ‘Dhishkyaaoon’ (Neelesh Misra) song. Ganesh Acharya’s choreography is routine, probably because the actors are not very good dancers. The use of old hit songs is intelligent. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background music is okay. Sanjay F. Gupta’s cinematography is nice. Shailesh Mahadik’s sets are alright. Mahendra Verma’s action scenes are functional. Editing, by Nitin Madhukar Rokade, is fair.
On the whole, Chashme Baddoor is a fair entertainer with appeal for the youth. It will keep the theatrical distributors smiling as the investment, in most cases, is reasonable.