Within a second of the film starting, I was clutching my ears, looking for something to stuff them with: competing on pure decibel levels, ‘Super Nani’ beats everything I’ve seen recently hands down.
Actually I could have done with shutting my ears, and closing my eyes. Because there is nothing to see. Not Randhir Kapoor, as Mr Bhatia– successful businessman, super-boorish husband — whose favourite line to the much put-upon Mrs Bhatia, arm flung out like Hitler, is: go back to the kitchen!
Not a bunch of actors playing the awful Bhatia kiddies (son, daughter, and daughter-in-law), who join their dear dad in behaving abominably with the lady of the house (Rekha).
Not Sharman Joshi, the good Bhatia grandson (‘navaasa’), visiting from the US, upholder of good Indian values. Joshi, usually watchable, is left struggling to keep himself visible, as he goes about rescuing his beloved Nani from the mess she is in.
And sadly not even Rekha, still sultry at sixty plus, the star vehicle around which the film is constructed. As Bharati Bhatia, she plays the servile doormat of a wife, mother, and mother-in-law, with shades of all her previous performances, and truly terrible cakey make-up. And does herself no good at all.
Bharati is dubbed Super Nani only after she has gone in for a make-over (if you want to beat them, pluck your eye-brows and wear stilettos), and become a super model (only product placement can free us ). She shakes off her domestic shackles, but is still happiest when she is touching her husband’s feet, and frying ‘parathas’ for her ungrateful offsprings and rescuing her daughter from a, shudder, ‘Live-In’ relationship.
How regressive can you get? Are these ‘traditional’ values that we need to topline? It is supremely ironical that a film making fun of ‘saas-bahu’ serials (yes, it tries) shoves exactly those sentiments down our throat. And even more so when you call your leading lady Bharati.
We can do without this creaky idea of Mrs India, thank you.