Free Press Journal

Movie review: Kagaz ke Fools – More doodles than giggles!


Cast: Vinay Pathak, Mugdha Godse, Raima Sen & Saurabh Shukla

Director: Anil Kumar Chaudhary

Rating: * *

An aspiring writer Purshottam(Vinay Pathak) works as an advertising professional in order to take care of his family’s daily needs. Wife Nikki(Mugdha Godse) is the over ambitious carping shrew type who wants to see her husband go places in the literary world and will constantly denounce his lack of ambition in order to motivate him. One day, soon after a party in which his friend(Amit Behl) a successful pulp fiction writer boasts of his continued success in the literary field, Nikki and Purshottam have a showdown and Nikki miffed by her husband’s lackluster ambitions, orders him to leave the house. Purshottam, fed-up with Nikki’s constant carping decides to stay apart for the time being and goes off to Kukku’s ashram, a  den of inequity, for some much needed R&R; Where he bumps into career whore Rubina(Raima Sen) who befriends him at her boyfriend’s behest and tries to wipe him out of his recent windfall at the poker table. They spend the night together (not in the biblical sense) and Purshottam and Rubina become friends of sorts. She tries to earn her money but he continues to reject her wiles, claiming love for his wife. In the meantime his wife, is in hysterics because Purshottam hasn’t returned home and as usual, she calls in her interfering brother ( Saurabh Shukla)to check on his whereabouts. Purshottam tries to sell his manuscript ‘Ek Tehri
si zindagi’ but finds no takers. He shows it to Rubina who is quite empathetic to his plight, as she claims her father went through the same torture.  She in fact eggs him to go back to his wife …but Kukku wants the winnings back and Rubina turns over a new leaf and decides to help Purshottam become famous.

The melee that results from all those noble intentions is quite contrary. None of the characters behave realistically or have a cogent explanation for what they are doing or saying. The scripting is so lackluster that purpose is lost even before the first scene is set up. Purshottam is contrarily idealistic. There’s no reasoning with what he does and why. While he refuses to pay money to get his book published or make the manuscript more readable by adding some risqué content, he has no qualms consorting with a whore or betting on a card game and reaping windfall after windfall. I’ve heard of beginner’s luck but for someone who hasn’t played a card game in his life to suddenly start winning every game he plays’s just unbelievable. Then there’s the contrived set-up before the ending. It just seems so implausible. The director/writer however merge the two separate ends by uniting Nikki and Purshottam again only to show them bickering once again after shifting into their new home. Phew!

Well there was a moral to it I guess but the treatment and narration was so artless and boring that it could put you to sleep. Vinay Pathak tries to keep things real and empathy worthy but the character he plays just doesn’t seem to be from the real world. Raima is competent enough and Saurabh Shukla, quite the contrarian but Mugdha Godse doesn’t appear to have got into Nikki’s ‘ loud punjabi’ skin very convincingly. The entire set up reeks of contrivance and convenience. And doubling the inconvenience to the viewer is the singular lack of humor (black or otherwise)in the enterprise. Music is eminently forgettable and so is the experience!