Total Siyapaa

Total Siyapaa is a romantic comedy film starring Ali Zafer and Yami Gautam in the lead roles with Anupam Kher and Kiron Kher in the supporting roles. The film is directed by Eeshwar Niwas and written by Neeraj Pandey .There have been many films tackling the story of lovers torn across borders in Bollywood. Total Siyappa is one of the first mainstream Bollywood film to take a light hearted look at the issue. It definitely has its moments but ultimately fails to impress.

A Pakistani boy is in love with a Hindu girl, The story begins with Asha (Yami Gautam ) bringing home Aman (Ali Zafar ). It all seems normal but takes a dramatic twist when mother find out that he is from Pakistan while Yami and her family is Indian. He has to cross more than just borders to marry into her dysfunctional family

Eeshwar Niwas’ story is an adaptation of Spanish rom-com ‘Seres Queridos’ shows flashes of madness peppered with some ‘LOL’ dialogues, but the screenplay (Neeraj Pandey) is insipid and loses its comedy metre too often to entertain throughout. The plot had potential to induce much more hilarity (picture this: a dabba of frozen soup could change Aman’s love life!), but it quickly deflates. In parts, it zestfully breezes through sensitive issues like POK, terrorism and Shahid Afridi with political incorrectness, but decent humour.

This ‘Aman Ki Asha’ is set on neither side of the Indo-Pak border. In fact, it crosses over to Brit-land, where butter chicken and bhangra rule the angrezis. And where Singhs are Kings. Here lies the love story of an Indian girl Asha and a Pakistani boy Aman who’re much in love, but confused about how to cross over to the other side.

Much later, pa-in-law (Anupam) appears after his night-out with a Brit hooker, causing more chaos in the madhouse. Evidently, there is no hope for peace in this Indo-Pak love war. One crazy act leads to the other, until comedy crosses over to insanity.

Well, one has to brave it, so Aman walks into a battlefield of boisterous Punjabi in-laws-to-be. Meet the high-pitched, melodramatic mom-in-law (Kirron) who’s convinced “Yeh shaadi kabhi working nahin karega!”. She tries hard to like her ‘damn-aad’ (son-in-law-to-be), but his buffoonery leaves her hysterical. Jiah (Sara Khan) is the feisty sis-in-law who breaks into sexy table-top dances and her 5-year-old daughter amusingly plays ‘pregnancy’ games. Adding to the mayhem is ex-army, senile dadaji (who took shots at Pakis in a real war) and an eccentric anti-Pakistani bro-in-law.

Ali safar has a tremendous comic timing and fits perfectly into the role. He gives an earnest and likable performance and gives a lot of credibility to a very confused character. He shows flair for comedy but he doesn’t get too many such moments. Yami is pleasant but her bewildered look distracts. She has nothing much to do but looks pretty and does well in the few sequences which do require her to deliver.

It’s a shame to see an amazing actor like Anupam Kher wasted in such a poorly written role. His track looks contrived and is one of the prime examples of the film’s unsuccessful attempt at comedy.It’s Kirron Kher who holds the madhouse together and provides the best laughs even with limited scope. She is the lifeline of the film. She is a bit too loud in a few scenes, but the character demands it. She is a delight to watch and provides much energy. Her scenes with Ali Zafer save the film from boredom.

The director’s treatment would have worked beautifully if he had a solid screenplay to back him up. Yet, he gives the film a fresh look and handles his cast well. His handling of a few sequences namely the one with Zafar and the grandfather in the bathroom and most scenes with Zafar and Kirron Kher together are commendable. Like a cold, cloudy morning in London, this one leaves you with more gloom than glee.