Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Santa Banta – Tardy, humorless Comedy


santa banta movie review

Cast: Boman Irani, Vir Das, Lisa Hayden, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Raaz, Johnny Lever, Vrajesh Jirjee, Ranjeet, Tinnu Anand, Ayub Khan, Sanjay Mishra, Vikas Bhalla, Ram Kapoor  

Director: Akashdeep Sabir

Rating: * ½

Runtime: 115 mins

A colorful array of comediennes and character actors can do little to raise the bar on this hapless, tardy and humorless attempt at comedy. Directed by Akashdeep Sabir, this film aims to cash in on the Santa-Banta craze without making any effort to create a laugh riot out of fresh and humorous situations. Instead, an array of overexposed PJ’s are mixed with song, dance and skimpily clad frolic in order to garner immediate eyeballs. But this sort of exercise rarely, if ever , garners the expected results of it’s creators.

Granted that this film has a small budget and coupled with the rebate offered by the Fiji (where the film was shot) Government, the expectations of the filmmakers are not exactly jumbo sized. In fact, the film makers already claim to be close to earning a profit- what with satellite rights and music sales bringing in moolah enough to cover most of the production cost. Frankly, that is not as believable as it’s made out to be because the music is simply put, atrocious, here.

Firstly, there’s really no story to tell. Just a series of arrangements that turns two bumbling idiots, Santa-Banta (Boman Irani-Vir Das) into undercover RAW agents commissioned to  unravel the mystery behind the kidnapping of the Indian High Commissioner (Ayub Khan), assigned to Fiji. It just so happens that the commissioner’s wife, Kareena(Neha Dhupia)  bears a close resemblance to Santa’s ex while the duo’s agency contact in the island, is a lithe, sexy, kick-ass agent (Lisa Hayden) who with her Boss (Sanjay Mishra) handles the back-end logistics for the agency.

So there’s sloppy attempts at romance, intrigue, attempts at ‘Don’ sizing and double agency making their presence felt with Ram Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Sonu Nigam, Vikas Bhalla, Vrajesh Hirjee, Tinnu Anand, Ranjeet and several more filling up the gaping holes in the screenplay with their unsavory antics.

None of the actors in this medley of nonsense can lift the proceedings in any way. Doesn’t seem like the creators made any attempt to develop a feasible script here. A barrage of downloaded PJ’s fail to connect and the lumped together sequencing makes it pretty tough to suffer through. Over all, this movie, once again proves the rule that Indian filmmaker are mostly clueless about comedies!