You might consider knocking back a few before heading out to watch Mr Joe B Carvalho, the sort of misguided madcap comedy that can only be endured in a state of semi-intoxication.

Arshad Warsi, the film’s titular hero, is a bumbling detective hired by a rich businessman to search for his daughter who has eloped with the family cook. Meanwhile an obese General, who goes by the name Copa Bhalerao Gabana (Snehal Dhabi), has recruited an international criminal, Carlos (Javed Jaffrey), to break up the impending nuptials of a girl who broke his heart. Vijay Raaz is a local don who’s been hired by Gabana to assist Carlos in this mission, but unwilling to play second fiddle he’s determined to take Carlos down. There’s also Soha Ali Khan, playing police inspector Shantipriya Phadnis, who must arrest Carlos except that she mistakes Joe for him, who happens to be her ex.
 
Is this too much information to take in all at once? Well, now you know how I felt watching the film!
 
The dialogues here are juvenile, the humor is of the pedestrian variety. At one point Arshad tells Soha: “Tumhara pyaar underwear ki tarah nikla, jiska elastic aakhir dheela padh hi gaya.” Arshad’s mother (Himani Shivpuri) is blind, but she’s the only one who doesn’t seem to notice, insisting on watching television and going to the movies although she can’t so much as aim popcorn into her mouth. Some of these jokes might have worked in an unsparing black comedy, but Mr Joe B Carvalho, directed by Samir Tewari, is nowhere as smart as that.
 
The film’s only bright spot is Javed Jaffrey, who at least tries to do something with his role. As the master of disguise Carlos, he’s often in drag, and pulls it off convincingly too. The other actors however, particularly Arshad Warsi, go through their scenes looking like they’ve been forced to make this film.
 
I’m going with one out of five for Mr Joe B Carvalho. At the point when Arshad got into a punching match with an unborn baby in its mother’s tummy, I decided nothing can save this movie.
 
Rating: 1 / 5

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