Golmaal is now three films old. It's still set in Goa and has the same core cast (give or take a Sharman Joshi or a Kunal Khemu, who's a value addition). It started, as far as I remember, as a tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee. Today Rohit Shetty's Golmaal is a gargantuan franchise with props and accessories that overwhelm the basic plot to the extent that you don't even ask why you are laughing.
You simply... laugh. Or else!
Really, you don't want t to look like a party-pooper, do you? So tickle yourself link blue and violet. The laugh-raiers serve up a gourmet of stale giggles. Ajay Devgn, more brawny than ever before, is back with a bang and a gang, which includes the usual suspects. Tusshar Kapoor still can't speak. But he gets more footage TRYING to speak than ever before. He's the only component in the series that shows a forward progress.
Shreyas Talpade still stammers. And the plot, all but stutters to a halt, as the gag-bag bursts open at the seams exposing goodies that are only about gift-wrapping.
Hard to believe, but the plot actually secretes an emotional base. This time the back-story behind the queazy blizzard of bachanalia is an autumnal love story about an aged couple Mithun Chakraborty and Ratna Pathak Shah (both entirely endearing) who want to set up a home together in their final years, as their overgrown distinctly immature kids scream in protest.
Hey Rohit Shetty, your brother Hriday Shetty got there first. Four years ago Hriday's love story Pyar Mein Twist had Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia trying to overcome family pressures to get together. Of course Basu Chattaerjee and Rajiv Mehra did their own love story about an aging couple with disapproving families in Khatta Meetha and Hamare Tumhare many years ago.
Golmaal 3 simply uses the idea of two aging people coming together to pin down its precocious parade of gags. The gag-bang is almost like consensual rape. The skits flow out like an uncapped toothpaste being squeezed frantically with impatient hands. There is an element of desperation bordering on hysterics in the way Rohit Shetty spreads out the Sunday brunch during his comic banquet. The items on the table still look inviting. But the garnishing, the fruits and salads have been left out in the sun for too long.
Everything in Golmaal 3 is over-cooked, over-baked and most regrettably under-funny. Attempts to camouflage the paucity of genuine comicality in a fleet of farcically played flat notes don't work beyond a point.
I've always waited eagerly for the out-takes in Rohit Shetty's film that come with the end-titles.
Not this time. Not any more. Before making Part 4 of Golmaal (which is bound to come) Shetty should try to get the characters out of that cramped circle of nullity in which the humour is so hectic that it reeks of repetition and tedium.
It's like those annual visits to your favourite hill-station. Even if global warming has played havoc with the original tranquil beauty and climate of the resort, you continue to visit the place. For old time's sake.