Faaltu Paise Hain Kya?
Chu**** Hai Kya?
Bobby is a dubbing artist, suffering from childhood trauma, is obsessed with murders and has a violent streak. But we’re supposed to think it’s cute because she is quirky and has a weird outlook on life. Keshav is her tenant with a new wife (lots of PDA), and is now the focus of Bobby’s obsession. Their encounters are funny up to a point. Then comes murder, and idiotic interpretations of mental health issues, Ramayana… don’t ask! Waste of time…
Quirky Ki Maa
The film opens to Bobby (played by Kangna Ranaut) dubbing for a film. It is delightful to see her literally get into the roles she is playing. She also plays hard to get with her agent cum boyfriend (played brilliantly by Hussain Dalal). Everything about her is quirky: from her funny sunglasses, to her clothes and decor in the house. She sees a man with a sign (which is fine a couple of times, but every single time? It’s an overkill). Even her cat is called ‘Panauti’ (bad luck)…
When she is dubbing for a policewomen, a producer gets fresh with her and she injures him with an exacto knife. We know what she will choose when the lawyer offers her a hefty fine or three months in a mental asylum. Of course in the asylum she plays pranks on the Super and throws away the medication. We know she is traumatised by her childhood, and she has a roach infested home. Before you can say ugh, you are told that she is imagining roaches.
The dubbing part is delightful but goes on an on. Each time she gets a picture taken as if she were the heroine. Stops being fun and you want to say, ‘Get on with the story!’
Obsession, She Said
Thankfully she gets new tenants – a loving (read: lots of PDA) couple – Keshav (Rajkummar Rao) and Smita (Amyra Dastur).
Bobby is dubbing a murder mystery and she begins to obsess over Keshav imagining that he is going to kill his wife. Bobby stalks the two through the curtains and even enters their apartment through a connecting door when the two are not there.
He obsession grows so much that when the wife dies after a gas cylinder explosion, she tells the cops that he is responsible. She just comes across is crazy, and he is exonerated.
By the way, the cops are quirky too.
Two years later she is on medication for imagining the roaches and obsessing over that man, and seems to be okay when she goes to London to be with her pregnant cousin (Amrita Puri) who finds her a job as an understudy in a play. Of course she comes face to face with Keshav again, except this time his name is Shravan. Her obsession becomes horrifically real and alarming. So much so that it could harm her cousin.
If you’ve watched enough shows about serial killers and stalkers, you know what happens next. It’s just that a 121 minute film feels like it is longer simply because of a repetitive part when setting up her character, and his creepiness. Rajkummar Rao has to match her kookiness with menace but the constant, ‘Let’s see who’s crazy now!’ also becomes unbearable.
The editing is so choppy, you wonder why certain scenes just spring up as explanations (for example, her cousin’s broken engagement scene appears out of nowhere?). And no matter what the disclaimer says about treating mental health issues delicately, it is very obvious that the subject is treated flippantly (‘She’s crazy! She’s nuts!) and that she’s not really getting any real help. If someone is suffering from ‘psychosis’, I doubt the docs would let her consume medication on her own. But who cares, Bobby whacks the cockroach crawling on the doc and everyone in the audience laughs happily, ‘She’s such a cute paagal yaa!’
This ‘acting’ just gets annoying after a while. And don’t get me started about Ramayana Redux. It is insulting to all professionals trying to help patients in real life when they treat the ‘mental’ part of the title as if they meant ‘demented’ instead. The result is that people laugh inappropriately at her ‘madness’, and your popcorn loses its pop because the film is tiresome..
(a kinder version of this review appears on nowrunning dot com)