Frankly, the story of a sex pervert and three alluring ladies could've resulted in one naughty film. Hello Darling uses every trick in the book (skin show, generous dose of double entendres et al) to make you laugh, but barring a scene or two, the effort falls flat on its face.
Final word? This film is a joke in the name of comedy!
Hello Darling tells the story of three working girls - Candy (Celina Jaitley), Mansi (Gul Panag) and Satvati (Eesha Koppikar) - who bond together in a posh office of Mumbai, though each of them belongs to a different stratum of society. The biggest issue they face is in their work place. It is headed by their smart boss Hardik (Jaaved Jaffrey), a chronic playboy. He is smart. They have to be smarter. Who wins this battle of the sexes?
An interesting story idea may not translate into an interesting/entertaining film. On paper, perhaps, the concept of Hello Darling may sound hilarious, but what unfolds is childish and bizarre. Forget smiling, you wear a constant smirk on your face at most times. In fact, even if the plotline was weak, but had the writers (Pankaj Trivedi and Sachin Shah) and director (Manoj Tiwari) packed the film with gags and punches, the film would've kept your attention alive. But what comes across is an excuse in the name of comedy.
A few funny moments, like the 'kidnapping' of a dead body from the hospital and a Godmother [Seema Biswas] who brings errant and wayward husbands back on track, are amusing. But the negatives outweigh the positives in this case. In fact, the goings-on get unbearable towards the post-interval portions, when a robber (Vrajesh Hirjee) lands up at Gul's apartment and finds Jaaved chained. From that point onwards, till the finale, which includes the boss (Sunny Deol) reprimanding Jaaved and transferring him to Bangladesh, the film only worsens.
Director Manoj Tiwari fails to deliver, mainly because the writing is corny. The double entendres, used generously to spice the proceedings, are tasteless. The music (Pritam) is mediocre, barring the 'Aa Jaane Ja' track. Ravi Yadav's cinematography is functional.
Amongst the three, Gul stands out with a convincing performance. Celina is decent, while Eesha doesn't look like a Haryanvi. Jaaved goes over the top, but is believable nonetheless. Divya Dutta is alright. Chunky Pandey gets no scope. Seema Biswas is just right. Sunny Deol, in a brief role, is monotonous. Asawari Joshi is passable. Mukesh Tiwari is wasted. Ditto for Vrajesh Hirjee.
On the whole, Hello Darling tries hard to make you laugh, but falls flat on its face. In fact, this comedy is more of a tragedy for the viewer.
Director - Manoj Tiwari
Cast - Celina Jaitley, Gul Panag, Eesha Koppikar, Jaaved Jaaferi, Chunky Pandey, Divya Dutta, Asawari Joshi
Comedy is serious business and I genuinely believe that making people laugh is an arduous task. The best of film-makers, with years/decades of experience behind them, have tried attempting laughathons time and again. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. Hello Darling also tries to tickle your funny bone, but in vain.