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Review

'Work Weather Wife' a bargain-basement Bollywood musical

“Work Weather Wife” does not lack ambition, but its scope seems rather Lilliputian

With an opening title that says the film is "based on socioeconomic evolution of Indian community living abroad" and a dedication to victims of honor killing, "Work Weather Wife" promises to expose barbaric traditions. But the disclaimers prove mere red herrings for this bargain-basement, Indo-Canadian Bollywood musical about a particularly tawdry love triangle.

Writer-director-star Harpreet Sandhu plays Vick, who swindles to pay for a drug habit. He plants a forged lottery ticket in front of a stranger, limo driver CJ (Dilbag Brar), then persuades him to split the nonexistent winnings and advance $1,000 (Canadian) from his share.

Soon after, Vick unwittingly rents the basement apartment in CJ's house. Instead of just leaving to avoid getting caught, Vick sticks around and brazenly pushes his luck further. He debauches Dimple (Reema Nagra), the desperate housewife spoiled by the lifestyle provided by CJ.

With a 21/2 -hour running time, "Work Weather Wife" does not lack ambition. But for a film deliberately channeling Bollywood, its scope seems rather Lilliputian. The nonsequitur musical numbers don't come with elaborate choreography, and exotic locales appear only in stock-footage montages. When Sandhu disrobes every so often, it seems like an exercise in narcissism. (The soundtrack is banging, though.)

The trashy soap-opera fare may engage some viewers, but the murderous impulse of a cuckold is not exactly novel. And what does the film have to do with honor killing again?

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"Work Weather Wife"

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 2 hours, 31 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle's Town Center 5, Encino.

calender@latimes.com

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