There is a hilarious movie somewhere in Aankh Micholi, but that version of this film is asphyxiated by bad direction (Umesh Shukla is the director) and mediocre writing (Jitendra Parmar is the writer). Comedy is all about perfect timing. You can write the best joke in the world, but it won't feel funny if you don't know how to deliver it. In Aankh Micholi, Parmar cooks up terrific situations and then fails to do any justice to them. Consider that moment from the climax where Rohit (Abhimanyu Dassani) and Paro (Mrunal Thakur) consider passing out in the middle of their wedding, and both of them are unaware of each other's scheme. We start laughing at the mere thought of seeing them falling at the exact moment, but the movie moves in a disappointing direction. Instead of tickling our funny bones, it becomes all teary-eyed. What's worse is that there is humor in these tears, but the joke is delivered with a straight face. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Take another scene where Paro's family makes an elaborate plan to hide Paro's night blindness. We should have been rolling in the aisles during the plan's execution. However, the sequence, at best, comes across as okayish. Charlie Chaplin is admiringly mentioned in the beginning, and we get a Chaplinesque sequence in Switzerland. Then again, this ode to a famous comedian/performer receives an underwhelming treatment. Chaplin would have probably spat in the eyes of this sequence, which ends horribly with Rohit being dragged away by his friends. The movie thinks it's supplying a powerful current of amusement, which is why you often hear the playful "Aankh Micholi, Aankh Micholi, Aankh Micholi" in the background. We think the film is high-fiving itself - a notion that only grows stronger through Divya Dutta's character (her giggles are genuinely irksome), who says things like, "Ab aayega mazaa," which seems less like a promise and more like self-assurance. If only the material had justified this confidence.
Navjot (Paresh Rawal) has a habit of forgetting things even faster than Sanjay Singhania from Ghajini. He looks at a photo and proudly states, "Maine isse waada kiya tha," and then immediately questions, "Lekin yeh hai kaun?" It's a nice, chuckle-worthy scene, and you expect similar pleasures when Navjot forgets about Paro's arrival from Switzerland. Unfortunately, all you get is a blind Paro coming home on her own from the railway station. Navjot points towards her from a ferry wheel, but instead of laughing at his remark, you feel worried about her safety. Aankh Micholi is skilled at squandering its potential. Yuvraj (Sharman Joshi) is introduced as a deaf person whose lip-reading is correct most of the time. However, he manages to get all the words right every time, except when it's Harbhajan (Abhishek Banerjee) speaking. Then again, he stutters, so let's ignore him. I also expected a riotous payoff with that "ghost car" thingy, but this is also wrapped up unsatisfactorily.
Shukla simply takes Parmar's writing and puts it on the screen. Nothing inventive or exciting is done visually or tonally. The actors - Rawal, Banerjee, Joshi, Vijay Raaz, Darshan Jariwala, and Grusha Kapoor - are good comedians and elevate the material a bit. Thakur, meanwhile, has a lovely presence, but she and Dassani are not very good at comedy. In fact, Dassani is not utilized properly. He could have served better as a dumb hunk or something because his kind thoughts and cheesy romantic lines become unbearably cringy. The comic energy of Aankh Micholi is released inconsistently (like when four people bend down simultaneously while talking to a prince), and that is the biggest flaw of this film.
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