Golmaal is back again!
After finally getting around to watching my Golmaal 3 DVD this week, I was left with the frustrating task of figuring out exactly how to write it up. We all know it was a box office hit (and deservedly so) and reviews ranged from “stupid” to “stupid but you’ll laugh.” Is there anything else I could possibly add to the discussion? I’ll certainly give it my best shot!
What Rohit Shetty has done with the Golmaal series has been very smart. [Read my post on the original Golmaal: Fun Unlimited.] Producers seem to be really loving sequels these days, so Rohit Shetty has been like, “Okay, fine – we take all the same actors and give them the same character names but we tell a completely different story.” This makes Golmaal a brand instead of an epic tale… as if Amitabh’s Vijay films were just Zanjeer 1, 2, and 3 etc. Since there is only so much plot twisting one can do in a series, undoing character growth and lessons learned, it makes much more sense to just start at zero each time in. The name lets audiences know they’re getting something kind of like the previous films.
G3 brings back Gopal (Ajay Devgn), Madhav (Arshad Warsi), and Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor) from G1; Laxman (Shreyas Talepade) and Kareena Kapoor (with a name change from Ekta to Daboo) from G2; and adds another Laxman (Kunal Khemu) to the mix for no other reason than to continue the joke about Sharman Joshi - the original Laxman from G1 - declining to come back for G2… because it’s still funny five years later. Now add to this motley crew of six lead scene-stealers, additional scene-stealers Mithun Chakroborty, Ratna Pathak, Johnny Lever, Mukesh Tiwari, Murli Sharma, Ashwini Kaleskar, Vijay Patkar, and Prem Chopra... plus a handful of other actors I couldn’t identify beyond “Hey, it’s that guy!”
This is Golmaal 3.
The plot – such as it is –is really simple. In the sunny, candy colored Goa live two brothers, Gopal and Laxman, and their best friend Daboo. Together they run a jet-ski rental place. Also in Goa live three brothers, Madhav, Lucky, and other Laxman. They are loafers who mostly just cause trouble for their dad Pritam (Mithun Chakroborty). An altercation involving a rogue billiard ball sets the two groups against each other and they engage in more and more ridiculous pranks until about the one hour mark when Pritam finds out that Gopal and Laxman’s mother Geeta (Ratna Pathak) is really his long, lost Guddi. Daboo happens to overhear some lovey-dovey dialogues between the two and successfully schemes to get them together, although it only serves to increase the prank war between the two sets of brothers.
As the film winds down, the assorted gangsters to whom everybody owes money, along with memory challenged Puppy-bhai (Johnny Lever, and, yes, of course he is only named that so there can be a gag about somebody getting a pappi) who has misplaced the Queen’s necklace in Pritam’s luggage, force the film into a huge car chase that leads to lots of motorized vehicles blowing up Rohit Shetty style. Finally, the film ends with the bad guys hauled off to jail and Puppy-bhai doing an interpretive dance, in his favorite outfit of hot pink pants.
Golmaal 3 is not going to win any awards for narrative cohesion or consistent character development but it succeeds at what it trying to do – provide lots of laughs.
I’ve always been a fan of Rohit Shetty’s penchant for snappy editing, blowing up cars, filmi references, use of female comedians instead of bikini girls, and copious use of sound effects but Golmaal 3 has a few other quirks that really take it to the next level.
For one thing, the delicious absurdity of having five grown men in their 30s and 40s playing characters who act about thirteen years old – and whom everybody treats as if they are thirteen years old – already puts the film ahead of every “sex romp” comedy I’ve seen in the last few years. Ajay Devgn and Arshad Warsi, two of the most talented actors in Bollywood at the moment, bickering like little boys in the playground over some toys is hilarious. Full stop.
And G3 fixes a couple of things that dragged down G2. There is only one romance track and it’s between Pritam and Geeta. While I really enjoyed G2, having a lady for each of the four heroes set the emotional track of the film off balance. Instead of five bikini girls with two lines each that are supposed to establish their relationships with each of the five guys, G3 gives Mithun and Ratna’s sweet, middle-aged romance room to breathe… and I’m sure Bebo didn’t mind being the only woman in the advertising. Plus, as a bonus, Geeta and Pritam’s romance does this nice little flashback to Mithun’s Disco Dancer days that is a tribute to the films of the early 80s that is campy without being embarrassing Disco Butt Aamir Khan. It’s all good fun and the casting folks went out of their way to ensure period appropriate dancers and extras.
Another thing G3 did right was getting Arshad and Ajay together. Ajay Devgn is not funny by himself; he needs somebody to play off of and nobody pairs better with Ajay than Arshad. Both Sunday and G2 suffered comedy wise for keeping them apart. As Madhav, Arshad is all manic energy and stocky machismo and as Gopal, Ajay is like a sleeping giant… slow to anger but then POW! As I said before, when you get those two bickering, it’s comedy gold.
G3 also uses Tusshar Kapoor’s Lucky better than the other films. Lucky, who, since the first film, has suffered from a speech disorder that means he has to talk using only vowels (i.e. “Aaa-uuu! Ehhhh-aaa-ooooooo….OOOO!”) has never been used in gags better – either in combination with other Laxman, who interprets for him once in a while, or by making some witty comment or other that we can’t understand but his brothers will laugh at because they do. And it’s hilarious because Tusshar just sells it as if he’s said something biting instead of, ‘Aaa-uu-oooo uu-ooo.’ Tusshar brings his A-game and I would so much rather see him as comedy Lucky than in any film where he has to romance a human female.
The addition of Kunal Khemu was much welcomed by me, who feels that he needs more work that aren’t half-baked C-level films. Kunal fit right into the gang as if he had been there from day one, although I can’t remember if he had worked with any of them before.
Other than that, the fun of Golmaal 3 is the fun of the other Golmaal films – gags, zingers, pratfalls, and a smidge of emotion to make it all worthwhile.
The same cannot be said about the motor vehicles that appear in G3.
I love that G3 opens with a tribute to the other two Golmaal films... because this is serious business.
Aw yeah.... are you even ready for this?!!
Go-go-go-golmaal go-go-go golmaaaaaaaal!
Original other Laxman!
NEW OTHER LAXMAN!
Do you know how much I love that Golmaal 3 does that thing that happens all the time in South Indian movies - especially Sandalwood - where the opening song shows how cool the actors are before we get into the film, where they all play doofuses.
[Confidential to Suzy, here is your Che Guevara tee shirt!]
I be big pimpin' spending G's...
One of my favorite running gags - that will go exactly where you think it will - is Gopal's inability to have a finger pointed at him without twisting it.
The only reason for this picture was to point out Kunal Khemu's jaunty orange shirt, tied over his shoulders like a demented yuppie. The visuals in Golmaal 3 are like a kaleidoscope... a glorious jumble of bright colors.
That would be the face I make while looking at this photo...
A warning for those who don't like Johnny Lever - I actually turned this film off months and months ago about 20 minutes in, which is during a particularly lengthy Johnny Lever bit. Never fear, his screen time is reduced to much more manageable doses after that.
Yes, to these two. Murli Sharma and Vijay Patkar in the hiz-zay! Is it me or is Murli about to crack up in that top picture?
What? Another role for a woman who isn't an aunty or a bimbo?! *gasp* Say hello to Ashwini Kaleskar, who stole all her scenes in All The Best. She plays Daboo's adopted mummy and that's Facebook the dog to the left. The one who wasn't hurt in a certain scene.
I loved Bebo's shades of annoyed... she does it so well!
And really every frame was packed with actors trying to steal it... check out all the facial expressions you have going on here! Even the blurry junior artiste!!
Mukesh Tiwari! His "Jalwa" had me in stitches!
You can't have a jet-ski shop, we opened one!
No, ours was here first!!
"I am a DISCO DANCER!!! Zindagi mera gaaaa~naaaaaaaa...."
Check out the guy second from the right! He is a DISCO DANCER! Look at that grin, you can't fake that kind of enthusiasm for the disco arts!
I also approve of the period appropriate non-size zero dancers for this number!
They were so sweeeeeeet together - the emotional hook of the film.
"Preeeem naam hai mera... Prem Chopra!"
Wasn't she pretty?!
The infamous firework stand face-off... let me tell you, I was surprised it took the film an hour to make this joke but once the finger was introduced you knew it was inevitable...
Better check your pants fingers, boys!
And note Arshad's PARTY SHIRT!
Grown men playing little kids is FUNNY, okay?! It just is!
Ajay Devgn holding on to the teddy bear was perfect.
One big happy family!
Prepare to watch 2.5 minutes of silent, mimed escalating threats plus sound effects. See, their parents are watching TV so they have to be very, very quiet... shhhhh....
"What?! US? FIghting?! Nothing going on here, pops!"
The sequence that got me juiced up for Singham...!
I loved that the emotional turning point of the film took place while Arshad Warsi was wearing a bright orange Flintstones tee shirt. Yabba Dabba Doooooooo!
Why shouldn't there be a carnival song 20 minutes to the end? It's Rohit Shetty's world... we just live in it!
And why shouldn't there be Johnny Lever doing an interpretive dance to bring the finale to a close?
YAY! THREE CHEERS FOR ROHIT SHETTY AND TEAM!