The delicate darling from Bobby to a grumpy old maasi in What The Fish, the journey has been long for Dimple Kapadia. She had mesmerized us with her vivacious acting since her heydays, but her verve continues to fill the cinema halls even today. Transition from a lead to character acting, Kapadia manages to steal the show.
The film begins with the present day and runs in flashback, flash-forward mode reiterating the tale of how an old lady is conned without her knowledge. Sudha Mishra, a divorced woman lives alone in her house. Her life revolves around her parrot fish, Mishti, and her money plant. She cares for them and speaks to them. And most of the time you find her on the phone talking (read: gossiping) to her kitty-party friends or her relatives (her sister, her son and her niece). Sudha Mishra is extremely particular about the small world she has created and will slice anybody to pieces who so much as crosses the threshold of her house without her permission. She is a typical character, a hygiene-freak, who washes the paper money so as to avoid it from being infected. She will not let you sleep on her bed as she is allergic and she will never let you use her toilet even if it is an emergency. Kindly use the visitors loo is what she says. The story begins when Sudha Mishra has to go away for a month to visit her son and her daughter-in-law. She hands over the responsibility of her house to her niece’s fiance who she thinks is inept to take care of her property, but she trusts her niece and doesn’t make much fuss out of it. She instructs her niece and the former’s fiance to water the plant and feed the fish. The instructions are clear and simple, but what follows makes the situation fishy and interesting.
The film is hailed to be a comedy but doesn’t have great punches that will make you laugh. However, the story, the acting and the execution of this story is dicey yet dandy. It is fresh and fast-paced, and will keep you glued to your seat. It is yet another definitive Delhi-centric film with a Delhi-ish dialect. Inspite of this, the film has its flaws. It gives you entertainment with a crisp story which lacks comic touch. The story-telling technique, flashback and flash-forward, might confuse the audience. The music is mere noise to your ears. And the absurd climax of the film will leave you baffled.
For the fine story and sprightly act put up by Dimple Kapadia, the film can be watched once.