Cast:Pulkit Samrat, Amita Pathak, Ashok Pathak
Director: Supavitra Babul
Indian Express Ratings:**
A few minutes into ‘Bittoo Boss’, and you start to think that this might, just might, turn into the kind of hilarious risqué comedy Bollywood has been trying to create, inflated not by lazy vulgarity but smart writing. The suggestive lyrics of the opening song in which there are references to ‘giving and taking’ (sorry approximations of nudge-wink street-slang ‘lena aur dena’) featuring a strapping wedding videographer, make us smile and lead us to believe that we might be in for some tongue-in-cheek fun. But that is not be : what we get is a slack cross between ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ and ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ with a detour via ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’.
Bittoo (Samrat, debut role, likeable) is a fixture at all major functions in small town Anandpur, Punjab. He not only takes pictures, but prides himself on being able to bring ‘mosans’ (emotions) to the fore. The ladies– from the fat middle-aged ‘auntyji’ to the giddy ‘dulhan ki saheli’, to the girl who is guaranteed to wear the tightest `choli’ and flirt outrageously with everyone, including the groom– love him. Bittoo loves them right back. And then he meets Mrinalini (Pathak, charmless) who doesn’t give him time of day, and of course that is the signal to all red-blooded Punjabi young males, of whom Bittoo is a likely representative, to start stalking said female.
You know how this will end, but you don’t expect, from the same people that gave us the entertaining ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’, quite this much dullness. The first half sent me to sleep with the unpolished Bittoo chasing the richer, posher Mrinalini, with all those scooter rides, and ice cream-and-‘gurdwara’ dates. Post interval, it becomes the film it set out to be, at least in parts, when the good-hearted Bittoo tries his hand at becoming the recorder and purveyor of visual material from hotel ‘suhagraat’ suites. For this, the film moves to newlyweds paradise Shimla, and into a series of situations which perk up the proceedings while introducing a bunch of interesting characters : one of them, a scrawny lascivious fellow who goes by the name of Vicky (Ashok Pathak) with a `setting’ in each town, is a hoot.
What you need in a film like ‘Bittoo Boss’ is a leading man whose roguish appeal can be scaled up for laughs. Someone like Vicky. But Bittoo has to be the Bollywood hero whose pretence at naughty is only just that : he’s actually a good man, who will see evil, but only to stop it, not record it. What could have had us cracking up becomes dramatically inert, and a film that doesn’t, despite its occasional nice moments, live up to its potential.Amita Pathak Bittoo Boss Indian Express Pulkit Samrat Reviews Shubhra Gupta Supavitra Babul