Original, Funny and Warm - The New Indian Express

Original, Funny and Warm

Published: 17th December 2013 11:58 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 11:58 AM

Comedies are hard to sustain for more than an hour and this one does over-run its playing time by 20 minutes, although it’s just about a 100 minutes in length. And that’s a 100 conveying sustained satirical strength.

The quality of the humour and the context of the characters’ comic tangles is on the whole, adroitly maintained, sustained and executed. A cantankerous old woman in Delhi, Sudha Mishra (Dimple Kapadia, delightfully over-the-top) leaves her home and its two specific properties namely the pet fish and the money-plant, in the care of her couldn’t-care-less niece, who promptly hands over the responsibility to her ever accommodating boyfriend.

The rest of this wackily wound-up comedy records the relay race styled exchange of the old woman’s home’s care from one set of noisy eccentric characters to another. Besides its immensely warm underbelly, what captures your attention is the originality of the material.

Here is a comedy that seeks no reference points from foreign sources, does not lean towards Hollywood for its humour quotient. The narrative gets its energy from the robust telling of a reasonably sturdy comic situation.

The wit is never derivative but constantly probing suburban eccentricities. The character of the Haryanvi lout Hooda (Mithun Rodwittiya), who plays patron-lover to a Mary Kom lookalike boxer from Manipur, would be a laughing stock were he not so desperately pathetic.

The actors, young and old, are cleverly cast. There are ample measures of giggle-inducing characters hiding their own ridiculousness in the garb of urbane casualness. While Dimple’s cranky act is expectedly winsome (when has this actress not been a winner?), Manu Rishi as the neighbourhood lech who seduces his young friend’s naive fiancee (Deepti Pujari) when she is home alone puts in the other outstanding performance.

Manu is an actor who knows his character’s sleazy underbelly and nails it unabashedly. There are other interesting characters, like the young vain Haryanvi boxer Rajpal(Vishal Sharma) who likes to cross dress in the night and performs a kathak mujra in the isolation of Dimple’s mauled and misused abode. 

Quirky, capricious and cute, What The Fish is a warm little concoction with pockets of endearing eccentricity. After watching this movie, you will never want to leave your home in the care of any relative.

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