It boils down to one basic question: how do you like your Mallika Sherawat, dressed or undressed? If undressed, which incidentally happens to be the right answer, then we have some bad news for you - in spite of the heartburn it might have caused her, she has managed to keep bits and pieces of human clothing attached to herself, throughout Bachke Rehna Re Baba.
It is also unfortunate for us, as we can't say that while the scriptwriters for Bachke Rehna Re Baba were translating a movie called Heartbreakers word for word, they didn't do a thorough job of it. Bachke Rehna Re Baba is a study in the meticulous art of copy-wronging; guilty of only a few adjustments, like the addition of songs and the subtraction of the female cast's clothes.
It may not classify as an adult version of Heartbreakers, but then it just might - the original had two 30 second kiss-scenes, this one has four; and Jennifer Hewitt's cleavage, though amply displayed in Heartbreakers, can't drive Mallika out of business, not any day.
The story is about Rukmini (Rekha), virtuoso mausi
, and Padmini (Mallika), the apprentice niece. Together they practice the art of extricating mankind from the burden of their worldly possessions - aided by the fact that middle-aged men, swathed in their plump mid-sections and baggies, make excellent sitting ducks.
Their ruse is to lead a man into marriage (to Rukmini), then into adultery (with Padmini), and then follow it up with a good, knockdown, drag-out marital dispute - all this ending in his being stripped by a hefty alimony settlement.
They pull off one on Monty (Paresh Rawal), and then shift turf to Mauritius. Here they find Mansukhnani (Satish Shah), a stoic Sindhi rolling in the dough. Awed by his palatial house, Rukmini gets all set to kiss even his gutka-stained gums. Padmini, in the meantime, is running her own crash course on the art of kissing, with Raghu (Karan Khanna) as her diligent student.
But when Mansukhnani kicks the bucket sooner than expected, Raghu, the owner of a Rs. 3 crore property, starts shining brightly over their gloomy horizons. They go for him, and this time they are aided by Monty, who wants his money back.
Rekha and Mallika, between themselves, display enough cleavage and scarlet pouts. However unbelievable it might sound, the odds that you can actually doze off or leave the theater are actually real. Govind Menon chose to add a good measure of vagueness to all the acts of con, stripping them of any logic which might have spiced up an otherwise dispirited presentation.
Intelligent as she is (ever seen her on talk shows fighting out coolly with thawed politicians?), Mallika is well aware which way the money mills churn, and uses her body as a successful decoy for her acting. Rekha consistently refuses to be yellowed by age. Comedy, though, is not her forte. She looks overdressed, and in a few scenes is outright scary in her glad rags.
Satish Shah has delivered one of his career's best. For Paresh Rawal, it is a downhill move from Hungama
and Hera Pheri
. For Karan Khanna, it's an uphill task, perhaps over a mountain which has no peak in its landscape.
The music by Anu Malik, barring Tera Husan, does discredit to him; but then, perhaps the songs were not meant to be heard but only seen. Bachke Rehna Re Baba is a movie that you can watch once, if only you are not in the mood to rent a CD of Heartbreakers.