Grand Masti fails on so many levels that it’s hard to imagine why it was conceived in the first place. Both the film and its 2004 prequel, Masti, only confirm one thing: Indian filmmakers cannot pull off an adult comedy even if their lives depended on it. The movie is an insult to Bollywood, which just celebrated its 100th glorious years. It also couldn’t have come at a worse time, when India is trying to change its long-held attitude towards women. The juvenile, crass, and misogynistic comedy is everything that is wrong with the film industry. It’s a shame that director Indra Kumar, who once delivered hits like Dil and Beta, even considered coming back for the sequel especially when Masti did not fare well at the box office.
Screenwriters Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani were downright lazy with the script, even ripping off scenes from Hollywood movies such as Ace Ventura and Austin Powers: Goldmember. The story, if we can call it that, does not even make an attempt at having a direction, unless it was deliberately meant to be a smut fest. Like its mind-numbing prequel, Grand Masti continues to torture cinema-goers with bad jokes and relentless puerile innuendoes at the expense of women.
The film opens with a scene of three friends Amar (Riteish Deshmukh), Prem (Aftab Shivdasani), and Meet (Vivek Oberoi) ogling women and joking around with college freshmen about a new way to learn the English alphabet—A for ass, B for boobs, and so on. Fast forward nine years, the men are married and—in Amar’s case, with a baby—leading boring lives. When a reunion invite from their college, Shree Lalchand University of Technology and Science—nicknamed SLUTS, of course—comes in, the sex-crazed men jump at the opportunity, hoping to have some masti with young college hotties. Once there, they get tangled with a hot teacher Rose (Maryam Zakaria), the resident advisor Mary (Bruna Abdullah), and nerd-turned bombshell Marlow (Kainaat Arora). In case you missed the irony of their names—“roz-meri-marlo”—the first time around, the film gives you plenty of chances to catch up. The men get as far as second base only to be almost caught by the dictator like college principal Robert Perera (Pradeep Rawat)—who somehow is also related to the women. The boys narrowly escape but not without Perera keeping a watchful eye on them. What ensues is a ridiculous cat and mouse game, loads of skimpily dressed women, vulgar dialogues (“rockets in pockets”), and plenty of table-shifting erections (literally).
The music and nonsensical lyrics only make matters worse. On the acting front, the women barely get by. Their characters are created purely to be objectified and looked at. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that some activists have complained to the Indian censor board about the film’s “commodification of women”, according to DNA India. The men overact terribly, compensating for the lack of depth in their characters. These actors, who did well at some point in their careers, have lost credibility and whatever remaining artistic grace with this film. In short, the film degrades human dignity, and it’s incomprehensible why anyone would want to put their name on it.
We certainly do not recommend this garbage. We’re all for adult comedies, but not those with a disgusting and backward attitude towards women.—REENA KARIM
Published in Masala Lite magazine, October 2013