After a gap of all most one year, director Priyadarshan has finally come up with a hilarious comedy, that warms the cockles of the heart even as it makes you laugh in mirth.
“Mere Baap Pehle Aap” is a dexterously scripted piece of quirky and cryptic concoction on role reversal. However, at the core this cool comedy depicts a father-son relationship where the father is often caught behaving like a truant child.
The acting prowesses of Paresh Rawal and Akshaye Khanna are beyond comparison.
The former’s guilt-stricken expressions and the latter’s finger-wagging exasperation are simply superb. Hats off to Manisha Korde’s wildly witty words that colonize the characters’ comic world. Take it easy, as none of the dialogues have any double-meaning jokes and vulgar shots pertaining to women…these properties make it a complete family entertainer. Priyadarshan’s film is clean and clever in parts and makes you forgive all the excesses of his recent films like “Bhool Bhulaiya” and “Malaamal Weekly” where the characters were constantly in a state of distress.
“Mere Baap…” exudes a certain amount of restraint and subtlety in narration, with exquisite and refreshing locales. Excellent art work by Sabu Cyril portrays the adorable link between our cultural heritage and the rituals of laughter.
The story centers around a father and a son looking for marital bliss at about the same time, while the audience is caught in the spaces that are filled but not over brimming. Like most of his films, Priyadarshan has tried to throw a social message with a potent fluency.
The story delves on the question of whether a middle-aged man has the rights to seek a companion when he has a child of marriageable age? Paresh Rawal is at the receiving end of social taboos. After wasting himself in not-so-good comedies in recent times, he has comes into his own here, as the ill-natured, child-like dad who keeps getting into embarrassing positions for no fault of his.
The movie stands with the collective brilliance of both Paresh Rawal and his on screen son Akshaye. Akshaye’s comic timings and his little nuances and gestures bring forceful humor to a film that may otherwise have ended up looking a little limp and boring.
The rest of the cast, barring the brazenly over-pitched Genelia, gave winsome comic performances. It’s a surprise to see the beautiful Shobana show up as the spinster, whom the widower Paresh wants to marry. It is more interesting to see the overtly comic Mohan Joshi to play a rather non-comic and serious role here. Further, Archana Puran singh, in the garb of a brassy lady cop, once again displays a taste for parody. According to many critics, an actor of Om Puri’s stature has rather been wasted by the director. His portrayal as a leery, ageing bachelor is quite grotesque. But, one cannot comment on whether it is the character or the performance that makes one writhe and move.
The wedding song and dance sequence are also quite exquisite. This touch of the quasi-classical, also seen in the closing interlude of “Bhool Bhulaiya”, gives the comedy a touch of refreshing grace. Rajat Barot’s background music is another asset, which the director may vouch for.