Baa Baaa Black Sheep movie review: This Maniesh Paul-starrer is bereft of both rhyme and reason
Not three bags full perhaps, but you'll certainly need enough wool to stuff your ears and shield your eyes from this film that has neither rhyme nor reason
On his 25th birthday, Balbir — better known as Baba (Maniesh Paul) — learns the truth about his father. This revelation goes back generations into their family history. Until that day, Baba believed that his ridiculously shortsighted and henpecked father spent all day knitting, but on this landmark birthday, Charudutt Sharma (Anupam Kher) inducts his son into the family trade.
The trade is not, as Baba and everyone else believes, selling cashews in Goa. And it’s owner (Charu) is not, as everyone also believes, henpecked and passionate about knitting. In fact the Sharmas have a long and illustrious trade as contract killers.
As far as premises go, Baa Baaa Black Sheep's sounds promising: A son stunned by the revelation that he is the 13th generation to take on this mantle, his dilemma and initial trepidation at becoming a paid assassin, his training etc.
But writer Sanjeev Puri and director Vishwash Paandya knot and twist the plot with an array of cardboard characters (such as the local goons, the corrupt home minister and a honey-trapping art gallerist) but manage to connect them all in a conveniently orchestrated puzzle.
Scene one is a flashback; scene two is a song. The first scene introduces a conman called Santa (in a Santa Claus costume, obvio) and the second shows Baba dancing on a bridge in Goa with his girlfriend Angelina (Manjari Phadnis). The only connection between the two scenes is the presence of Maniesh Paul in both.
It’s really a bit of a stretch to believe Paul is 25 years old. A successful reality show and awards show host, Paul might want to hold on to his day job. As the dual-personality father, Kher is the glue that holds this puerile comedy together, although he too leans towards bouts of outlandishness. It’s a little clumsy, yet moderately entertaining to watch Kher punch and kick some bad guys.
Also in the mix is Baba’s girlfriend Angelina and her art teacher/forger father Brian Morris (Annu Kapoor with an accent that swings from Goa to New York via Oxford). Kay Kay Menon skulks around smugly as Shivraj Naik, the local police inspector trying to bust a drug trafficking gang, capture an art forger, track down assassins etc. while taking breaks only to change floppy wide-brimmed beach hats.
Adding to the blah blah bleak narrative is the editing. In one noticeably inexplicable move, they interrupt a break-in sequence to move into another in which they introduce new characters and story tracks. To add to the agony of a humour-less ‘comedy’, the music includes mash ups of ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’!
It's almost ironic that Charu, a man occupied with a ball of wool, uses earplugs to tune out his wife's nagging. It made me recall the children's rhyme that inspired the title of this film. You don't need three bags of it, but enough wool to stuff your ears and shield your eyes from this film that is without rhyme or reason.
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