By Abhishek Chatterjee
Puerile at its worst and mildly chuckle-inducing at its best, Rohit Shetty's 'All the best', starts where his earlier films, 'Golmal' and 'Golmal Returns' left off. A mad cap tale of mistaken identities, this juvenile piece of cinema deserves a watch only by the particularly optimistic, for whom the realization of three unsalvagable hours will not seem criminal.
The story involves Veer (Fardeen Khan), a struggling musician, who needs extra pocket money from his stepbrother, Dharam (Sanjay Dutt), who lives abroad. Prem Chopra (Ajay 'I've changed my surname' Devgn), his best friend, married to Jhanvi (Bipasha Basu), schemes to inform Dharam that Veer is married, thereby making a case for an increased allowance. The incredibly wooden Mugdha Godse plays Veer's girlfriend, Vidya. Things meander along aimlessly for this motley crew until big brother Dharam decides to drop in and mistakes Jhanvi for Veer's wife. Much confusion ensues and the friends swap partners to keep the bluff going for as long as they can. In the mix is a mute don, played by a returning-to-form Johnny Lever, and a Pran-impersonating vagabond, played by Sanjay Mishra and a Malayali maid, Mary, played by the wonderfully talented Ashwini Kalsekar and a bizarre car race, something the director feels obliged to include in all his films. It is actually this support cast that keeps the film from being a complete wash out and more screen time for these competent comic talents would have made for more pleasant viewing. The film's 'falling down/getting slapped' brand of slapstick comedy is repetitive and some times achingly unpleasant. Shetty tries hard, but fails to create a good comic experience for the viewer, even after ripping off an American play. His only redeeming effort comes in the form of the cinematic references to the classic 'mistaken identity' films of the 70s and 80s like 'Golmal' and 'Chupke Chupke'. Pity he doesn't learn from them.