Film: Bank Chor
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Rhea Chakraborty
The bank in Bank Chor is called Bank of Indians. There’s a tired attempt at a joke with recorded phone messages. Some broad ones about people from Delhi and UP migrating to Mumbai for a living. The Mumbai Police arrive in style, doing unspeakable things to the Vada Pav in their hands. Somewhere in there is an extremely offensive joke about PT Usha. The laughs don’t come easy. Mostly they don’t come at all. Riteish Deshmukh tries. Baba Sehgal tries. You die a little.
Baba Sehgal plays himself as one of the hostages. He breaks into his songs a couple of times and those are truly the moments you chuckle. Not because they are great but because they are good breakaways from this excuse for a comedy film. A comedy film that also has a political nexus subplot. Who asked? I wondered if the film will become a slasher fest in the second half with the journalist character played by Rhea Chakraborty picking up a hatchet and going on a killing spree. Beginning with Vivek Oberoi who is named Amjad Khan for the purpose of a single attempt at humour. Riteish Deshmukh is named Champak for the sake of a couple of jokes.
Instead, Bank Chor morphs into something else in the second half. It becomes a serious film. About some hard drive. Some cash. Some politician-real estate mogul partnership. You stop caring because you become numb. That’s when you realize that the real hostages are the ones watching Bank Chor. As the film inches towards its climax, one by one they die. Some die in an instant. For some, it’s a slow death. But nobody dies painlessly. Calling Bank Chor uneven would be its biggest compliment. It is like a chameleon. You don’t know what it is going to become next. Is Bank Chor directed by Abbas-Mustan? And then the film ends, you notice the name of the director. It is Bumpy. You are dead.