Director: Praveen Kumar
Cast & Crew: Vinay Pathak, Anand Tiwari, Rajat Kapoor, Sadia Siddiqui, Pitobash Tripathy, Dadhi Raj, Uttam Haldar, Purav Bhandare, Sita Ragione Spada, Vivek Setia, Prem Prakash Asthana.
Synopsis: Keshu has a record for flunking exams hence gets kicked out of school and starts assisting his father on the truck. There isn`t much hope for a bright and prosperous future for Keshu until he falls in love with a beautiful American girl who has come to Bihar. But when his lady love gets kidnapped, Keshu has to save her and compete for her affections with the American boyfriend. This love triangle continues in the midst of Mayhem in Bihar.
Review: Some films leave you with a lasting taste of enrichment, some that get your money’s fully worth through pure uncompromised entertainment, and some others that blatantly defy any sense of respect towards Laws of Physics. And then, when a desperate attempt at filmmaking fails, there comes a ‘Jo Dooba So Paar’.
Keshu (Anand Tiwary) a local Bihari boy who is a school drop-out joins his truck driver father at driving goods across the perilous National Highway of Bihar, constantly threatened by the mischievous Naxals!… Sounds Intense?? But Behold! You are not even 10 mins into the film when a Firangi Damsel (Sita Ragione Spada) from USA–land makes an appearance! The fair skinned smiling beauty who goes by the name Sapna (her dad is an Indian), comes to Bihar (of all places on planet Earth) to do research on paintings. Keshu is completely head over heels in love and makes innumerable attempts to woo the girl and accept him as her Guide. Despite repeated warnings by her Chacha to stay away from a “Bihari guy in love”, our Firangi beauty refuses to oblige and accepts Keshu as her Guide.
Right when you feel the story is settling down, enters the third party – Firangi Dude, also from USA-land who is apparently our Firangi Damsel’s boyfriend. Poor Desi Keshu is left heartbroken… But hold on your tears! Because it’s time for Firangi Damsel to get kidnapped by the Naxals! A Desperate Chacha runs to the cops (good choice)… But for some super genius reason, unfathomable to the human spirit, USA Boyfriend runs to Keshu (the 911 equivalent for India??)! If you think this shock is hard to digest wait for the next move – the 2 wannabe life partners of Miss Firangi, approach a bogged down, defeated & drunkard Sub Inspector (Vinay Pathak), who is as shocked by their choice as the audience themselves. And thus through 2 wannabe Damsel life partners, 1 drunk cop and 4 sidekick friends, begins the ‘Great Bihari Hunt for the Firangi Damsel in Distress.
Performances throughout the film are weak. Anand Tiwari playing Keshu is unconvincing. His intensity neither escalates nor drops. Vinay Pathak is badly underutilized. Rajat Kapoor as the SP Cop is good and probably the only apt casting. Sita Ragione Spada as Sapna seems lost in most scenes. The Screenplay had the potential to be good but is plain disappointing. The graph of the film is like a laboring car with a stuck gear box – you almost feel like physically pushing the film but it just refuses to change pace. The characterization is even worse. They feel like a skeleton without any flesh and blood. The lack of conviction and consistency in the characters causes an instant disbelief amongst the audience. Keshu’s four friends, who are with him almost throughout the film, sadly leave no lasting impression either.
“Sir Shot bohot Flat gir raha hai nai?” is a famous colloquial phrase used in abundance in the film industry – which when translated means something to the effect of “Sir the shot seems too Bland no?”. That is exactly what ‘Jo Dooba So Paar’ as a film is. It is almost like the Director Praveen Kumar handpicked such Flat Shots to collectively create a ‘Monumental Collage of Flatness’.
Verdict: Weak direction, weak screenplay, weak music and weak performances make it a riveting watch for seekers of ‘Amalgamated Weakness’.
Vikram N. Acharya