Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan play rival con artistes in director David Dhawan’s Rascals, a third-rate comedy that borders on the offensive. Dutt’s character, Chetan, poses as a social worker and motivational speaker who’s trying to dupe a rich socialite out of her crores. Devgan’s character, Bhagat, pretends to be a blind Naval officer so he can get his paws on the same girl. Kangana Ranaut is Khushi, the lady in question, who is repeatedly fondled, groped, undressed, and practically molested by these ageing perverts. I’ll be on her side if she decides to press charges. 

David Dhawan, who’s no purveyor of good taste, plumbs new depths of crassness with this expectedly insensitive film that’s so short on real jokes that it makes light of everything from starving orphans in Somalia to the physically handicapped. In one scene that’s meant to be funny, Kangana’s character organizes a sports day for blind people, to which Dutt offers this priceless gem: “Jinko chalte chalte thes lagti hai, unke liye aapne race rakhi hai.  

The film’s plot, if you can call it that, involves Dutt and Devgan trying to foil each other’s plans to get their way with Kangana. The lines are replete with sexual innuendo, and the gags are embarrassingly crude. At one point, Devgan gets Kangana to strip down to her bikini top because he claims her bright yellow shirt is hurting his slowly healing vision. In another scene, while struggling to put a pair of shorts on a passed-out girl in his bed, Dutt complains: “Ab pata chala, kapde utaarna itna aasaan hai, lekin pehnana kitna mushkil.” 

The truth is: Dhawan’s films have always been sexist and regressive, but there was a time you could count on him to deliver the laughs regardless. Rascals, as it turns out, is an infuriatingly unfunny film. Unless grown men making silly faces is your idea of comedy. Arjun Rampal in a special appearance is typically one-note; and Kangana Ranaut does inspire a few chuckles, but those are unintentional, and the result of her awkward timing. 

I’m going with one out of five for director David Dhawan’s Rascals. Donate your cash to charity instead of wasting it on this wretched film! 


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