Saturday, March 8, 2014

Total Siyappa Movie Review : An interesting promise which doesn't come through

Total Siyappa trailer brought a pleasant surprise in its premise of a Pakistani boy (Ali Zafar) going to an Indian girl's (Yami Gautam) family to ask for her hand, which ensues a cascade of events and a funny take on the rivalry between the two countries. Unfortunately, while the events do occur but it is hard to call them funny after a point. Except for Kirron Kher, who is the life of this otherwise inconsistent film that spirals downwards in the second half. The film was originally titled Aman Ki Asha, based on the names of its lead characters. I wonder if that would have saved the film at all anyway, considering there was minimal publicity for the film which was clashing with Queen and Gulaab Gang.

Total Siyappa is adapted from a film called Only Human (2004) made by Dominic Harari and Teresa Pelegri and its Indian version has been written by the brilliant Neeraj Pandey who gave us A Wednesday and Special 26. Thus, it becomes rather painful to swallow that it is a clear cut case product of the curse of the second half. Zafar and Gautam bring in bouts of freshness to a lead pair, but and the first half does stir up an array of situations which are fairly engaging, apart from being largely comical. The film rides on an interesting idea of a night where a series of mishaps occur when Aman visits Asha's family to woo them, mostly all of them occurring in one location. But what begins as an adventure, turns into a trite shlock of contrivations later where in situations are conjured up on whims in a despicable attempt to be funny. The second half sinks like a rock in an ocean and clearly the only relief you find is that the runtime of the film is only 108 minutes. Director Eeshwar Niwas fails to pack in a solid punch before we forget the chuckles of the first hour and for most of its runtime, Total Siyappa looks half baked and inefficiently directed. Produced by Friday Filmworks and AKA Pictures , Total Siyappa is presented by Reliance Entertainment and Pen India. David Meadows's cinematography is ordinary and so is Ali Zafar's music which struggles to make a single track memorable. There is not enough work done on this movie to mention about any other technical departments.

The saving grace of Total Siyappa is the on-point performances from most of the cast. Kirron Kher leads the pack with a strikingly hilarious spin of the Punjabi mother of the girl. Even her shortest lines are masterfully delivered and she ends up providing the most crackling moments of the film. Ali Zafar plays the part of the nice guy stuck in a crazy family well until his act starts getting monotonous. Yami Gautam still does not show much prowess at acting, hamming it up at key instances. Sara Khan, as Asha's sister, is just okay while Anuj Pandit as the brother is unintentionally ludicrous. Anupam Kher surprises as in a short role as Asha's dad but his part is badly written.

On the whole, Total Siyappa chokes on its own spit, almost. While the film did give the vibes of a fun ride, it does not completely deliver that. If you have nothing better do, you can still go for the movie and you will not come out hating it. But I would rather advise you to watch Kangana Ranaut's Queen instead. Save some bucks!

Rating - 1.5/5

Originally published for MadAboutMoviez here

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