Fruit and Nut is a comedy filled with eccentric characters that will eventually succeed in driving you nuts. When Kunal Vijaykar is the director and comedians like Cyrus Broacha and Boman Irani are a part of it, you know you’re going to have a few laughs, but for complete satisfaction, you need a plot to pull it through as well.
Jolly Maker (Broacha) is a simple, innocent, nerdy looking dimwit, who is incapable of doing a single task without creating chaos. He is clumsy, not just to a point of self, but world destruction. Jolly works for Mr. Khandar (Mahesh Manjrekar), Proprietor of a construction company and Chairman of Mumbai Heritage Society. Khandar claims to be ‘the maker’ of not just buildings, but also Ms. Monica Gokhale (Dia Mirza). He insists on speaking English even though he batters the language to a point of incomprehension, and has a signature goofy laugh, which interjects his sentences randomly. Now Monica gets abducted by Maharaja Harry Holkar (Boman Irani), which creates a stir in Mumbai. The Maharaja is a senile old man, who dresses like he belongs to the Victorian era, lives in a palatial mansion, speaks like a baby and has one patent line: “nashta kiya….breakfast?” His sole mission is to blow up the Mantralaya, as he claims the palace of his ancestors lies beneath it. In his attempt to get hold of its drainage plans (so as to strategically plant a bomb), he orders his 3 equally old butlers to abduct a series of people on a whim.
Jolly loses his job for causing an explosion and consequently his house. During his struggle to find and then retain a job, by a sheer stroke of luck he stumbles upon the abducted Monica and gains instant stardom as her saviour. Before you can bat an eyelid they move in together and fall in love.
In the meantime, Khandar and the Maharaja hatch a plan to kill Jolly and blow up the Mantralya. Enter terrorists, who appear out of thin air from Arabia on the Maharaja’s orders and are so ancient they land up killing themselves instead of Jolly. Then there is Professor Pinakin, the brain behind the bomb, who is a hyperactive pizza lover and seems mentally off, akin to an Einstein (but nowhere next to his genius). Suddenly, in all of this, an anti Maharaja Society called RAW is introduced, which Monica, Jolly and Anna (a beggar) become agents of, and clad in black leather set off to save the Mantralaya. Cut to Mantralaya, where a few silly games are played and then the bomb explodes. This trails off into an ending which doesn’t close the loop and leaves you with unanswered questions.
The movie has a lot of incoherent psychobabble and the characters seem to be mostly interested in only getting their point across. Its quite listless as the humour is silly, not witty and the plot poorly executed. The RAW society is an attempted parody on special agents and there is an underlying message of protecting heritage buildings which could have been well executed with a little more effort.
The characters, that are very well etched, are portrayed brilliantly and effortlessly. Cyrus deserved a little more justice than just being handed a pea-brained character. Dia Mirza is beautiful and has improved considerably as an actress. Boman can’t be criticized and Manjrekar seems to be living his character. The music is peppy and upbeat and worth listening to. Individually the characters are entertaining, but they need to be better connected with each other and the plot in order to make more sense.
Contributed by Raashi Malhotra