Let’s get one thing out of the way: if you’re going to compare this to a Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Basu Chatterjee film make sure you’ve seen a Hrishikesh Mukherjee or Basu Chatterjee film. Next thing I know you’ll be saying Sanjay Gupta is in the league of Satyajit Ray.
From writer/director Ashvini Dhir comes Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, a film pretentious for most part. In exaggerated versions of characters they’re supposed to be playing, Paresh Rawal, Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen somehow manage to keep the film lightly engaging. Perhaps only because they’re all established actors. Paresh Rawal is Ajay Devgn’s relative who shows up one fine day and makes a mess of things, much to Ajay and Konkona’s chagrin. Slaps the watchman, makes Konkona cook, harasses the maid and is an overbearing lout in general.
Trying too hard and falling flat in the first half, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? doesn’t evoke much laughter except during the first song, which is a religious tune sung in the manner of Beedi from Omkara. And the not-that-funny scene in which Paresh Rawal (Lambodhar Chacha) accompanies Devgn (Puneet, a writer) to the muhurat of a film where he meets Sholay’s Kalia (Viju Khote) and wrecks Satish Kaushik’s Rs 50 lakh film set. That is the last scene before the interval, and that is when Ashvini Dhir’s Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? attempts to redeem itself.
While the script doesn’t improve too much throughout the course of the movie, the actors start getting into their respective characters from the second half onwards. And the story takes its predictable turns. Chachaji winning everyone over, warming hearts all around, but the damage has been done. Paresh Rawal’s nonstop farting gets to you after a point, as does his burping, but I’ve never found such gags funny anyway. The religious angle is the worst, as is the half-baked stampede scare. Most of the dialogues are stale, but it hardly matters when you’ve lost interest in the film.
Chachaji is a nice guy but he could’ve been shown better. Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? is a wrong move for Konkona Sen, and Ajay Devgn, though earnest, doesn’t seem too bothered by the way the movie shapes up. Neither the presence of good actors nor the two references to Amitabh Bachchan’s greatness do anything to save Ashvini Dhir’s film. Movies cease to be fun when they start getting preachy.
Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? is a complete letdown despite having three bankable actors on board. Turn this guest away.
(This review has also been published on Book My Show)