Drama Queen

ONCE UPON a time in Goa (February 1993 to be exact) there lived a hammy actor couple called Shabnam (Mallika Sherawat) and Mazumdar (Paresh Rawal). Both are part of a drama company where things turn topsy turvy when Arjun (Rahul Bose), Shabnam’s ardent fan, arrives in town.

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Published: Mon 25 Aug 2008, 8:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:51 PM

Everytime hubby Mazumdar launches into a particular dialogue (he is playing Akbar in the company’s favourite costume drama Mughal-e-Azam), Arjun hastens backstage for a rendezvous with Shabnam Anarkali. This leads to some fairly amusing moments as Mazumdar gets flustered each time Arjun leaves the auditorium. Imagine how much more disconcerted Mazumdar would be if he knew that Arjun was clandestinely meeting his wife.

Anyway, it turns out that there is more to Arjun than being Shabnam’s besotted fan and lover. He is, if you please, an officer from RAW on an undercover mission.

No, not to investigate Shabnam’s unfaithful ways but to unearth the activities of an underworld don about to wreak havoc in the country.

Would you believe that RAW cannot send Arjun enough back-up so he is forced to rope in his lady love, her husband and their equally hammy costars to help him in his mission?

And that is the harebrained story of Maan Gaye Mughall-e-Azam, which is supposed to have you rolling in the aisles.

All it does, at best, is evoke a feeble smile now and then.

While the first part does have a few whacky moments, the second part collapses into chaos. On top of which there are inane songs thrust in at whim.

Ripped off from Mel Brooks0 To Be Or Not To Be (1983), this black comedy has plenty of talented actors but all of them are wasted in daffy roles that make them indulge in daffier antics.

The competent likes of Paresh Rawal, Rahul Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Pawan Malhotra, Zakir Hussain and Manoj Joshi are made to fool around in proceedings that do nothing to showcase their abilities.

As for Mallika Sherawat, she pouts and pirouettes and prances in revealing clothes, none of which has anything to do with acting.

Sanjay Chhel is undoubtedly a talented writer (as we know from the lively dialogues of films like Rangeela and Yes Boss) but direction doesn’t appear to be his cup of tea. Or should that be, katori of Mughlai gravy?

He sets out to offer a ribtickling satire along the lines of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro but ends up dishing out an unruly escapade that isn’t sure if it’s supposed to be a parody, patriotic saga, underworld yarn or extra marital complication.

And trying to hook up a drama company’s shenanigans with the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai seems entirely far-fetched. Bottom line: This Maan Gaye Madness isn’t worth your while.

Review by Sudha Mukerjee

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