As I walked out of the theatre, I couldn't help but wonder why movies like 'Khosla ka Ghosla' weren't some kind of standard in Bollywood. A quintessential middle-of-the-road movie set in a middle class milieu with believable flesh-and-blood protagonists who don't break into Alpine singing sprees and fall in love courtesy a European tourism board. 'KKG' is far from a great or a clssic or illuminating groundbreaking cinema. It'll never be lauded at arcane film fests or be in contention for the official Oscar entry (though we have done worse by far). Hell, from the theatre attendance today, I'm worrying if it'll atleast break even.
It's a shame that a charmer like 'KKG' has been dumped into the cinema with publicity that rivals a covert RAW operation. Not to mention, the fact that what little there is, is more or less misguided.
It is not a laugh riot. Sure there are laugh-out-loud moments. But they are mere punctuations in a warm, cozy lil movie about life around the neighborhood corner.
Mr. Khosla, a middle class retired serviceman in Delhi, has just purchased his dream piece of real estate, a housing plot facing south. Sure he has his lil domestic nightmares- a wastrel for one son, a workaholic for the other, a tomboy for a daughter and a fool for a wife, but life seems to go smooth until one day he discovers that a tyranous real estate developer by the name of Khurana has seized his cherished plot illegally and is now trying to extort him to the tune of fifteen lakhs.
What follows is anybody's guess. This is clearly not a kind of movie in which the whole defeated, morally broken family will commit mass suicide in the end.
It is in the little details that the movie glows with life, warmth and joy and director Dibakar Banerjee conducts them with relish- The Laughter Club Sessions, the tribulation of being named 'Chironjilal' and applying for a US Visa, the eponymous 'Yahan Pisaab karna mana hain' sign, the Punjabi neighbor ever ready with suggestions, the generation gap in the family...
Sure there are hitches with the narrative and the story that may accomodate a yawn or two and technically it is far from adept but it is the cast that will charm you over with affecting, quirky performances from the whole ensemble ranging from Anupam Kher to Praveen Dabbas and Tara Sharma and Vinay Pathak with the scene-stealer once again in the form of Ranveer Sheroy who is making quite a habit out of it.
After last year's 'Main, Meri Patni aur Woh' and 'Mixed Doubles' this year, this is yet another one in that long dried up Hrishikesh Mukherjee-Basu Chaterjee vein of slice-of-life that deserves not only an audience but even emulation.