Bharat Bhushan is back, and little has changed with him. Heôs still the bumbling, self-confident old fool whose zeal for classic Hindi film songs hasnôt diminished a bit. Now heôs won a reality show and finds himself aboard a cruise liner for a holiday.In Bharat Bhushan style he proceeds to embarrass himself and other guests and ends up on a deserted island with the man who was trying to kill him.As usual, director Sagar Ballary takes his time to establish proceedings and characters but once aboard the cruise, the humour quotient goes up significantly and scenes are infused with sparkling one-liners.Without a doubt, moments in the first half will make you laugh aloud. Itôs the little jokes like when Bhushan meets Mrs Talwar for the first time, his rapid-fire showdowns with his IT partner MT Shekharan on North vs South India, and even the physical comedy that works. Then the second half happens.As much the first half is tightly scripted, the plot and writing post-interval is scattered. The jokes are repetitive, the goings-on slow. A quicksand scene is so compromised itôs cringe worthy. Bhushan keeps singing and this is supposed to get on Talwarôs nerves, but after a point, itôs the audience who seems the target.
Add to that some random, over-the-top elements (specifically speaking, Amole Gupteôs Raghu Burman character) that make the second half seem wholly disconnected from the first. Ballary, it must be pointed out, is guilty of a similar state of affairs in his last film, Kaccha Limboo which was also undone by itôs lengthy, arbitrary second half.Ballaryôs scripting in his last two films has been flabby. There is too much time wasted on too many extraneous scenes that have little to do with the film. The great Sidney Lumet advises directors to think hard about ¶ that all-encompassing, critical discussion: What is the movie about? Work canôt begin until its limits are defined, and this is the first step in that process. It becomes the riverbed into which all subsequent decisions will be channeled.Ě Ballary seems to fall in love with the material he writes and shoots and doesnôt allow the editor even near it.Vinay Pathakôs continuing rendition of Bharat Bhushan is superb. His reactions are often priceless. Kay Kay Menon as the lecherous tycoon harried by Bhushan is spot on. It helps you empathise with his frustration after a point.Finally, the talented Suresh Menon ably justifies his author-backed role. These are men who make Bheja Fry 2 work. On the other hand, Amole Gupte, Aditi Govitriker and the other women do more harm than good.At the end of it, Bheja Fry 2 is half the fun of the first installment, despite the filmôs canvas being significantly bigger.