[Film Review] Grand Masti should at least have attempted to steal better jokes

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The easiest, most obvious critique of Grand Masti is that it does not respect women. Not only does it presume that the standards of women everywhere have fallen to the extent that they find the vacant grins of Riteish Deshmukh, Viveik Oberoi and Aftab Shivdasani utterly irresistible, but every woman in the world of the film exists only to please the men. Most are given no more depth than a tight closeup of their cleavage. The ones lucky enough to get a line or two of dialogue have little else to say than making the most obvious double entendres ever written (like the woman who invites Shivdasani’s character to inspect her two milk factories). At the end of the film, the women realise they really should give their husbands more sex. The men learn that since their wives are now willing to give them more sex and that their attempts at adultery have had such disastrous results, they should stay faithful to their wives. And they live happily ever after.
But to waste one’s breath in accusing this unnecessary sequel to 2004’s Masti of misogyny is to miss the point. It is, after all, a run-of-the-mill adult comedy, a lazy attempt at recreating American Pie for Indian audiences. The only brief writers Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani seem to have been given is to stuff as many dirty jokes as they can inside 130 minutes while saving enough time to tell some semblance of a story. (Fleshed out characters mean something entirely different to them.) That story, while engaging in parts — very small parts — loses steam very early and refuses to even try to get back on track or make any sense whatsoever. And while there’s nothing wrong with dirty jokes, the film should at least attempt original ones rather than ripping off every old chestnut there is.
Even if it must rip off its jokes, Grand Masti could at least have attempted to steal better ones or pick better sources. Instead, it goes to the fount of that great classic Kya Super Cool Hain Hum, for instance, to name three of its characters Rose, Mary and Marlow. It steals the cliffhanger ending of No Entry (but presumably, the budget could not incorporate an actual cliff). It makes all the usual puns — ‘important’/‘impotent’, you get the drift — in the usual, obvious way.
Grand Masti is another wince (and occasional snigger) inducing comedy that doesn’t require even a modicum of intelligence. It needs to realise, like every other film of its genre, that the brain is the biggest erogenous zone of all.