Cast: John Abraham, Pakhi
Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Jhootha Hi Sahi, directed by Abbas Tyrewala, is the kind of film that makes you embarrassed for everyone associated with it. It’s one of those films that might have been so bad that it’s good, except that it’s not even bad enough to be enjoyable!
Written by the film’s leading lady Pakhi, who also happens to be Tyrewala’s wife, the script is hare-brained and predictable, and has neither the wit nor the charm to work as an engaging romantic-comedy.
John Abraham is cast as Sid, a nerdish bookshop owner in London who stammers in the presence of pretty girls. When Sid’s home phone number gets mistakenly advertised as a suicide helpline, he sportingly volunteers to talk callers out of taking their lives. One night a weeping female caller named Mishka (played by Pakhi) leans on him to pull her from the brink. Over frequent phone conversations, their friendship grows. Sid seeks her out in person, and romance gradually blossoms. But he never reveals he’s the same guy on the other side of the phone line who knows all her secrets.
Much of the film’s problem lies with the fact that it’s trying too hard to be cool. Sid’s group of friends are straight out of any American sitcom - no parents, no families, no real care in the world. This gang includes Sid’s Pakistani best friend and his unwed-but-pregnant sister, her Japanese boyfriend, two gay men, and Sid’s airhostess girlfriend. Apart from a few genuinely clever moments, the scenes between these friends appear awkward, and the humour forced. The dialogues are over-written and they come off as laboured when delivered by the actors. There’s an idiotic subplot involving Mishka’s ex-boyfriend, played by R Madhavan, and his is easily the film’s worst written character.
To be fair, the central conflict appears too trivial for a film trying so hard to be contemporary. Add to that the rawness of leading lady Pakhi, and the indifferent direction by Tyrewala, and you can see why this film doesn’t work. At roughly two hours and thirty minutes, it’s a test of your patience, and it doesn’t help that even AR Rahman’s music suggests that the maestro wasn’t inspired to give his best.
Save for John Abraham who offers an earnest, endearing performance, and a few light moments between the friends, this film is a plodding bore. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Abbas Tyrewala’s amateurish Jhootha Hi Sahi. I’ve seen school plays that are more entertaining!
Rating: 1.5 / 5
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