Friday, October 05, 2007

Laugh Riot: "Loins of Punjab Presents..."

So it’s Friday night again…and it’s been a while since we watched a movie (the last one was the outrageous Sivaji)…so at an impossible 7 pm on a Friday night, we decide to check for movie tickets at PVR (are we ambitious or what!)…who would believe that we actually got tickets!! For Loins of Punjab Presents…now I have not even heard of the movie and it is ‘A’ rated, so naturally I am sceptical. Anyway, I decide to go along with the flow. And we enter Cinema Europa…
The Censor Certificate shows ‘English’ as the language…what a relief (I am very apprehensive of Indian/Hindi movies that are ‘A’ rated(spare me the sleaze please))! The opening scene has a typical secretary enlightening the audience about ‘Loins of Punjab’ – apparently a company that sells pig loins all over the world and has been started by one Mr. Singhal who migrated from India to the US of A. In the background, one sees the crisp-moustached Mr. Singhal posing with a pig at his feet (akin to the portraits of Rajasthani princes with tigers) and one instantly knows – this might not be that bad after all!
The movie is centred around a ‘Desi Idol’ contests that Loins of Punjab is sponsoring. Each of the key contestants is introduced with hilarious punchlines as the movie begins. For instance, Sania Rahman (who is told at another audition that they are looking for someone more Indian) – “Aspiring Indian…Actress”. The action begins and contestants start to check-in to the hotel. Preeti Patel’s lot with his father asking the receptionist to check the reservations for four S’s (pronounced “Four Asses” if you didn’t get the pun) is comical. So is Sania’s (with her appalingly limited knowledge of Hindi) encounter with an Amitabh-fanatic of a future analyst where she accidentally spills food onto his clothes (as also hers) and says “Mujhe Saaf Kardo” instead of “Mujhe Maaf Kardo”. The whole movie offers a generous helping of such dialogues rife with puns and the comedy is mostly situational. There is hardly any point where you are not at least giggling.
The characters are eccentric and yet endearing. There is the socialite Riita Kapoor who wants to win the contest only so she can donate the $25K prize to charity in a bid to outdo another woman and goes about fixing the whole contest for the sake. There is this Sardarji who believes he is THE star and even barges into the semi-finals when he is not even on the list. The future analyst drives you crazy with the statistics but that’s exactly why he gets you laughing also. The apparently naive and demure Preeti Patel who has spoken only 5 sentences in the whole of 90 minutes (except for her singing) bowls you with her matter-of-fact statements made in front of Riita Kapoor. And you love her even more for that. There is of course the non-Desi (and rather cute I have to say) Josh Cohen who is mad about India. And then there is his girlfriend Opama Menon, who is, self-assertively, always right. Throughout the film, one feels as if one is right there, amongst them, witnessing this madness and having the time of one’s life.
There is no point to the movie really, but then who is looking for one anyway! It has been modelled more or less upon a typical Bollywood movie. One of the scenes towards the end where the India-loving contestant Josh Cohen sings the Indian National Anthem because the band does not know the song he has prepared, is as dramatic as it is patriotic. Heartening was the fact that everyone on the audience stood up as he sang the Anthem (although the movie prompted for it). Consequently, he goes on to win the Contest (obviously!!) and All’s Well That Ends Well.
I am glad I watched the movie despite my apprehensions as it is thoroughly enjoyable and light-hearted. Ok this one won’t go down in history as one of the greatest side-splitters of all times, yet it is recommended.

2 Thinkers Pondered:

Vinni said...

friday and movie tickets??? did you like pray to god and go?
have heard so much about the movie. Now i really wanna watch. only thing is, its not showing anywhere now. little too late.
Finally i know the story behind the name. (might i add a ouch!).

Sowmya said...

I need to watch this movie... :)