Should Rohit Shetty be apologizing to Ranveer Singh’s fans for wasting an actor of his range in this silly, silly comedy? Or maybe he should be apologizing to his own fans for making such an outdated and ridiculous movie in the first place. His Golmaal worked in 2006. That was 16 years ago. But Shetty seems to be stuck in that era, still. With Cirkus, his comedy hits a new low and it’s sad that we had to see Ranveer be a part of it. And mind you, this is Ranveer in a double role, but no one could redeem such an awful film. Not that I went to see Cirkus with high hopes or expectations, but did I expect the last movie of 2022 to be this bad? Some trailers can be extremely misleading.
Cirkus begins in the 1960s, where two pairs of orphans are adopted by two separate families — one in Bangalore and one in Ooty. But Doctor Joy Jamnadas (Murali Sharma) swaps one twin for the other for the sake of an experiment through which he wants to prove his theory that ‘nurture’ matters more than ‘bloodlines’. Roy and Joy (Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma in dual roles) do their own thing in different cities as children and then grown men. Roy in Ooty is married to Mala (Pooja Hegde), while Roy in Bangalore is dating Bindu (Jacqueline Fernandez). Joey is so far happy to be the third wheel where his brother goes. Unfortunately, this comedy of errors just doesn’t work.
The first half is so moderate that you can easily afford a few naps. Cut to post interval, when chaos begins to ensue with everyone trying to make sense of things, it gets even funnier. They are very strong and delicious and blah. In the name of period comedy, we see everyone dressed in strange clothes from the 60s with sticky ribbons, printed fabrics, strange accessories and strange hairstyles.
There are endless characters in the movie. One more colorful than the other. And everyone is hyperactive beyond imagination. There are also bad men, extremely funny and they don’t even make you laugh. They probably start to look annoying after a point. With so much going on and everyone trying so hard, the comedy doesn’t seem anywhere near as noticeable.
Ranveer, in a somewhat understated act, does what he has been briefed to do, but the impact is completely lacking. He’s trying to be funny and it’s obvious, but his jokes, however few there are, just don’t land. “The Electric Man” as he is fondly called in Ooty for his ability to withstand any voltage of current, we never feel that current in his performance. Varun, who has mastered the art of comedy and is great with his comic timing, fails to add value to this period comedy. I wonder why Shetty didn’t think to exploit that side of him instead of making him look completely bland and out of his zone. Pooja, whose last Hindi release was Radhe Shyam, needs serious acting lessons, I repeat. Her screen presence is so forgettable that you instead notice the stage decor in the scenes she presents. Jacqueline isn’t any better here and doesn’t get to do much other than just be a prop adding some glam quotient.
Sanjay Mishra as Bindu’s biker and irritatingly hip father might look like the most promising of the bunch, but he ends up being a headache with that screeching accent. Then there’s a local thief, Momo (Siddhartha Jadhav – I loved him in Simmba and Sooryavanshi as sub-inspector Santosh Tawade), but Cirkus reduces him to such an ugly caricature character with a weird hairstyle that he only makes funny faces. Momo taunts Polson Bhai (Johnny Lever), who brings nothing great to the table other than being an addition to this silly bunch of villains. It doesn’t end here. There are at least 10 other supporting actors, each with a small role to play, and Rohit makes them all look funny even when they don’t need to.
The kind of laughter audiences are used to witnessing in a Rohit Shetty film, I can hardly remember a scene in Cirkus that could elicit a genuine laugh. Deepika Padukone’s cameo in the song Current Laga Re might make up for all the missing fun, but that’s too little too late.
Cirkus is based on William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. I would leave you with that thought and let it sink in as it may take a while. Watch it only if you are a die-hard Ranveer Singh fan and can muster up the courage to watch him get wasted so terribly.
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