Verdict: SMS jokes are better.
The names Santa and Banta have been immortalized by the era of forwarded jokes via text messages and later via WhatsApp messages. The duo’s talent for taking things literally provided for some pun-tastic humor and prompted people to react with the LOLs and ROFLs. Riding on the popularity, comes the movie Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd.. The characters Santa (Boman Irani) and Banta (Vir Das) are hence, introduced on the big screen.
The movie begins with the Indian Ambassador in Fiji being kidnapped and RAW agents giving an update to the Indian RAW headquarters via a poor quality video call. The RAW chief (Tinnu Anand) assigns his immediate junior Anand (Vijay Raaz) to seek out RAW agents code named Santa and Banta aka Jay and Veeru. Anand reaches a police station where coincidentally Santa and Banta are brought in for questioning. Anand who has an ax to grind with his boss decides to send these two in the guise of the RAW agents. On reaching Fiji, the duo is welcomed by the agents stationed there played by Sanjay Mishra and Lisa Haydon (in a Lara Croft-like avatar called Q.T. aka Queenie Taneja). Randomly, a Nepali don played by Johny Lever hears about the arrival of these secret agents and decides they need to die.
The movie’s premise is mystery-comedy. However, there are little traces of either. The whereabouts of the ambassador keep you intrigued for the first half-an-hour of the movie. But then you are bored enough to not care. The casting looks right for the film. Each actor except for the ladies Neha Dhupia and Lisa Haydon are known for their impeccable comic timing and they have tried their best. The quips by Santa Banta only manage to hold you for some time and gets old quick.
Why You Should Watch the Movie:
Boman Irani and Vir Das have done a wonderful job of bringing life to a script that isn’t very wonderful. Their chemistry is amazing and both have done justice to the legend of Santa and Banta.