Of late, the trend is to make entertainers that don't tax the viewers' brains. The mantra is simple: Plonk yourself on the cushy seat, munch popcorn, sip cola and enjoy the on-screen antics. Just don't ask questions. Just don't look for logic. No-brainer comedies are what the doctor ordered to keep the industry's heart live and ticking.
One Two Three, helmed by debutante Ashwani Dhir, follows the rules faithfully. But...
Like most films of its ilk, One Two Three rests on a waferthin plot. No issues with that, but after a point you don't react to the on-screen jhamela. Substituting a cohesive script with witty one-liners and funny situations has never been the shortcut to success and never will be.
Besides, the masti-mazaak works at times, but falls flat on several occasions. The on-screen characters try their level best to tickle your funny bone, to evoke mirth, but the viewer sits motionless and expressionless like a mannequin.
Comedy is serious business and Ashwani Dhir has proved his skills in the past [he had penned the immensely likeable Office Office], but cinema is a different medium altogether. Sure, Dhir has worked hard on wit-laden dialogues and individualistic sequences, but how one wishes he would've worked on presenting a tighter script.
It's like promising a sumptuous meal, but being offered just starters. The main course is conveniently forgotten!
Diamonds belonging to a Don [Manoj Pahwa] get stolen. The diamonds accidentally fall in the hands of Chandu [Upen Patel] and Chandni [Tanishaa], who hide them in a car. Papa [Mukesh Tiwari] and his henchmen [Vrajesh Hirjee and Sanjay Mishra] are desperately hunting for the diamonds, while hot headed police office Mayavati Chautala [Neetu Chandra] is on the prowl looking for offenders of any kind.
Enter the first Laxmi Narayan [Tusshar Kapoor]. He's from a khandani mafia family and his mother prays that with a few murders under his belt, he will be settled for life. He's got a final chance to redeem himself as a Bhai. He comes to Hotel Blue Diamond because he's taken a supari to bump off Papa.
Enter the second Laxmi Narayan [Suniel Shetty]. He is sent to Hotel Blue Diamond to collect a new car for his boss from Laila [Sameera Reddy]. The third Laxmi Narayan [Paresh Rawal] is a hawker who has made so much money selling under-garments on the footpath that he has set up a lingerie factory now. His son sends him to Hotel Blue Diamond to collect lingerie samples from upcoming designer Jiya [Esha Deol].
The three Laxmi Narayans are at the same place, at the same time. They get letters and photographs meant for the other. The first Laxmi Narayan gets lingerie designer Jiya's photo and goes to kill her, only to end up falling in love with her. The second Laxmi Narayan gets Papa's photo and goes to collect the car from him, only to be mistaken for a killer and gets beaten black and blue. The third Laxmi Narayan gets Laila's photo and asks her to show him the under-garments, only to be branded an old pervert.
Meanwhile, Chandu and Chandni are determined to stop anybody from buying the car where they have hidden the diamonds.
Lock your brains at home when you watch this movie, for One Two Three, like its predecessors, is more of a stress buster than anything else. Unfortunately, the absence of a strong screenplay evokes mixed reactions. You do laugh when you're supposed to laugh, but even those jokes are forgotten as you breeze out of the cineplex. You don't carry the story, the film, the gags and punches, the witty one-liners with you at the end of the show.
Ashwani Dhir is a far more accomplished dialogue writer than a screenplay writer. Directorially, the choice of actors is right and a few scenes are well canned. Raghav Sachar's music disappoints. Barring the title track, the remaining numbers are forgettable. Cinematography is inconsistent. It looks like a hurried job at times.
The film has a number of characters, but the one who actually makes you laugh the maximum is Sanjay Mishra, who impersonates the yesteryear villain Jeevan to perfection. Suniel Shetty too has his moments, but his 'Left-Right' dialogues, in scene after scene, tend to get monotonous. Tusshar does a decent job. Paresh Rawal is okay, but not the scene stealer -- something you've started expecting from him.
The girls enact their parts mechanically. The performances are in this order -- Sameera Reddy [okay], Esha [dull], Tanishaa [no scope] and Neetu Chandra [loud]. Manoj Pahwa excels. Mukesh Tiwari is alright. Ditto for Vrajesh Hirjee. And what is Upen Patel doing in this film? Murli Sharma doesn't deliver this time.
On the whole, One Two Three falls below the ordinary mark. At the box-office, don't expect much!