What happens when you put together a Gujju businessman down on his luck, an airhead heiress, four bumbling crooks and an over-ambitious pizza delivery guy? A fun movie, of course! And the realization that there’s more to Chekravarthy than Satya.
Ajay (Aftab), Raghu (Pandey) and two other cronies have taken to crime to bring a dramatic change in their fortunes and to realize their dreams, prosaic as they may be. They kidnap Isha (Sharvani), a tycoon's daughter, and dump her in a businessman-turned-pauper Kantibhai Shah's house. (By the way, if you’re wondering why they choose to hold her hostage in someone else’s house, keep wondering. The movie doesn’t answer that question anywhere.)
They also proceed to hold the rest of the householders as hostage in a bid to get Isha's father to cough up the ransom ASAP.
Or so they think. What they did not figure into their scheming was a doorbell that keeps ringing. And ringing, and ringing.
You guessed right – this results in scores of people keep joining in the ever-growing list of hostages, and as the hapless (and often mindless) prisoners try to figure a way out of the mess and the not-so-hard hearted crooks (yet again, somewhat mindless) try to remain on top of the situation, an innovative comic fracas is executed.
In theory, this movie has it all - a fire-and-brimstone bad guy, a bunch of blundering buffoons, a nice jodi who keep stealing lovey-dovey glances at each other, and the typical regional stereotypes (including Kota and Jeeva!) who add their own taste to the overall stew make it palatable. And it’s fare fit for almost everyone’s taste buds.
But while Darwaza Bandh Rakho dons the mantle of being a comedy and nothing else, and delivers to a great extent, there are parts where the can’t-do-without dose of sentiment comes in and slows down the momentum. Daughters sniffle about busy fathers, wives cry about patni-vrata patis, and being kidnapped opens up a new train of thought in each hostage’s mind.
Also, a cast of people so diverse and a script which isn’t witticisms and puns personified results in the movie falls short of being an out-and-out comedy. And the one tiresome thing about most RGV movies is the sound effects. Loud isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just plain loud! He did it in Bhoot, blew your eardrums apart in Vaastu Shastra, and now almost succeeds in making people cringe at the sight of a doorbell.
Aftab and Chunkey Pandey are appearing in a decent movie, or any movie for that matter, after a long, long time, and they do just enough to make sure they don't end up as hams. Pandey is starting to look tired and old, though. The Tezaab days are long gone. Koirala is wasted in a role that could have been done by just about anyone. All she brings to the table is a pretty smile and vacuous dialogues.
Isha Sharvani deserves mention – finally, she has a role that requires her to stop swinging from the trees and have her feet firmly planted on the ground. Ishrat Ali is another notable talent in the film.
While no one steals the show on his or her own, they all get together to make this movie a hodgepodge of O’Henry Ransom Of The Red Chief and It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but with a pukka Hindi ishtyle zing. This one is worth a watch for some mindless fun.