Even with an enviable star cast the film fails to get more laughs from the audience.
Pagalpanti exactly portrays its title in the entire movie. This comedy really confuses the audience on whether to laugh or not. At one point in the film, John Abraham’s character Raj declares, “Zaroori nahi ki har cheez ka matlab ho.” This is perhaps the guiding light for the story, screenplay, dialogues and pretty much everything that goes on in Pagalpanti. The problem is not the fact that it is a slapstick comedy, but the fact that there’s little or no semblance of a coherent narrative. From the very first scene, the film has armed with loud action and dialogues trying to be funny, but far from that. And there are a lot of characters, one sillier than the other.
While Anil Kapoor once again plays the flashy gangster with his trademark loudness, Arshad Warsi is the funny guy with witty one-liners. John Abraham exudes charm despite his goofy character and Pulkit Samrat once again plays upon his boyish charm. But the three heroines got reduced to looking pretty and mouthing silly lines such as, “Papa kehte hain kiss karne se main pregnant ho jaungi.” Among the character artistes, Saurabh Shukla is impressive as the bumbling mobster who is more funny than scary. There is also a character named Niraj Modi (Inaamulhaq) evidently fashioned on the fugitive businessman Nirav Modi. With an unconvincing Gujarati accent, his character comes off as yet another stereotypical cliché.
Director Anees Bazmee, along with his co-writers, throw in everything into the mix. From exciting car chases to high-octane destruction scenes, from African lions to an entire act involving industrial strength glue – all shot beautifully in the picturesque UK. But nothing sticks, thanks to a weak script. There are far too many songs placed randomly that only add to the runtime. Towards the end, it even meanders into a patriotic subplot that seems more forced.
Even with an enviable star cast and heavy-duty action, Pagalpanti never really manages to pull off more than a few laughs.