Star cast: Rahul Aggarwal, Narayani Shastri, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Neena Gupta, Ravi Kishan.

Plot: Rahul Aggarwal, a village simpleton, comes to Bombay. Besides the regular problems of city life, he has to contend with the arrest of his wife by the police under the mistaken belief that she works in a dance bar.

What’s Good: A few rustic comedy scenes.

What’s Bad: The plot line which befits a TV serial.

Verdict: Na multiplexes ki, na single-screens ki, this one is for the small screen.

Loo break: Walk in and walk out at leisure, you won’t miss much.

Star Entertainments Pvt. Ltd.’s Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke (UA) is the story of a village simpleton who comes to Bombay and the problems he has to face in the city. Devki Nandan Tripathi (Rahul Aggarwal), an inhabitant of Palanhar village in North India, gets a job in Bombay. A real estate broker gets him a paying guest accommodation in the house of Madan Khachak (Ravi Kishan), a Bambaiya tapori. Devki goes to his village during a brief holiday, when his father (Om Puri) gets him married to a girl, Mithiles (Narayani Shastri), whom he has never met or even seen in his life. Due to the customs of the community to which he belongs, he can’t see the face of his wife for some days after marriage. Following his wedding, Devki returns to Bombay and resumes duty.

Soon, Devki’s parents, sister and wife pay him a visit. The father develops an instant hatred for Madan Khachak and he simply doesn’t app- rove of the foul language he (Madan) uses. Devki seeks Madan’s help to get close to his wife who ultimately stays back in Bombay when the parents and sister return to the village.

As bad luck would have it, Mithiles is wrongly arrested in a police raid on a bar full of dancing girls. She is sent to the lock-up and when Devki tries to get her released, police officer Khote (Paresh Rawal) demands proof that Mithiles is his legally-wedded wife before he can set her free. Since the wedding in the village was not registered, Devki asks his father to return to Bombay with the wedding album. Not only Devki’s family but also the village priest, who had solemnised the wedding, and a large group of family friends come to Bombay as witnesses. But Khote refuses to budge. How Madan Khachak, Devki, his parents and the villagers manage to secure the release of Mithiles is shown in the climax.

The story, written by Aman Jaffrey, is quite thin and the screenplay (Aloke Upadhyaya) seems to be an assemblage of incidents intended to evoke laughter. While some scenes do succeed in tickling the funny bone, most of the others fall quite flat. Also, several scenes seem forced into the screenplay and have been so amateurishly incorporated that it clearly looks like they have been added to move the screenplay in a particular direction. For instance, the enmity between Khote and Madan Khachak is established simply because that enmity comes in handy when Mithiles is put behind bars in Khote’s lock-up. Likewise, the marriage of Devki and Mithiles in the police station in the climax looks too far-fetched. Also, Khote had asked for proof that Devki and Mithiles were man and wife whereas the solemnisation of the marriage in the cop station only proved that they had become man and wife after her arrest – something that could actually go against her! And yet, for some unexplained reason, Khote feels inclined to release Mithiles on the basis of the marriage ceremony conducted inside the police station. Also, the wild goose chase by police inspector Khote of the person who runs away with his car keys in the climax looks ludicrous. Although Khote is in uniform, he chases the person on the street and in a mall without a single member of the public coming to his aid or without him even attempting to involve the public. In short, the entire climax looks silly and childish.

Besides the flaws in the script as above, the premise of the film is such that it would have been more suitable for a television serial. Even the making is of the kind one gets to see in a TV serial. Dialogues (Aloke Upadhyaya) are witty at some places but it is very unlikely that the story of a village simpleton would be appreciated by the multiplex audience in the cities.

Rahul Aggarwal doesn’t have the looks of a traditional hero. For a debut performance, his acting is not bad. Narayani Shastri gets limited scope. She does a fair job. But she is not heroine material. Ravi Kishan is very loud at times and would appeal to the front-benchers and masses. Paresh Rawal is fairly good. Om Puri gets into the skin of the character and shines. Neena Gupta ably plays Devki’s mother. Ananth Mahadevan, Neeraj Vora, Shveta Salve, Rakesh Shrivastav and the others provide the requisite support.

Debut-making director Rahul Aggarwal has concentrated on only comedy while almost completely ignoring emotions, drama and other ingredients of an entertainer. Even that may have been acceptable had the comedy worked for the audience. His direction is fair but there are occasions when he gets repetitive, probably because the story-line is thin and his writers have not been able to add variety. Lalit Pandit’s music suits the film’s flavour. ‘Sajan bawre’ is a fast-paced song while the title track has the fun element. ‘Agar hum tum ko’ is also quite appealing. Camerawork (K. Rajkumar) is average. Vinod Pathak’s editing is okay. Action (Alan Amin) is functional.

On the whole, Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke may belong to the comedy genre but it will fail to make any mark at the box-office because it is not half as hilarious as it should be.

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