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Review: ‘Bol Bachchan’ turns up the farce

There’s a father-son handoff of sorts in the sublimely catchy opening dance number for Rohit Shetty’s comedy “Bol Bachchan,” with legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan singing and dancing with son Abhishek, the film’s star.

The wink-wink aspect of the movie’s title becomes further apparent when the farcical plot kicks in: Abbas Ali (Abhishek), a jobless Muslim fallen on hard times, breaks the lock on a Hindu temple to save a drowning boy but is introduced to the village by a risk-averse buddy as “Abhishek Bachchan” to avoid being identified as Muslim.

“Abhishek” becomes wingman to honesty-obsessed tough-guy boss Prithviraj (Ajay Devgn), who likes to put deceivers in the hospital. But lie begets lie, and soon “Abhishek” must invent a gay, mustache-less twin brother, which sends him into the arms of Prithviraj’s beautiful sister (Prachi Desai).


FOR THE RECORD:
“Bol Bachchan”: A review of the Indian film “Bol Bachchan” in the July 9 Calendar section said that the movie did not have a rating from the Motion Picture Assn. of America. In fact, the film has been rated PG for sequences of action violence, thematic elements and brief mild language. —


In an ostensible homage to the ‘70s Bollywood comedy-of-errors classic “Gol Maal,” there’s a lot of sweating out the central ruse to little pleasurable (or believable) effect, despite spirited turns from the gifted Devgn — relishing his character’s dim-bulb righteousness and mis-learned American phrases — and the charming junior Bachchan.

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Though Shetty’s movie love is noticeable, his reliance on frantic sound effects and empty action-comedy set pieces over well-thought-out farce mechanics is ultimately wearying.

calendar@latimes.com

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‘Bol Bachchan’

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No MPAA rating; in Hindi with English subtitles

Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Playing: Naz 8, Lakewood; Laemmle’s Fallbrook 7, West Hills


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