Aankh Micholi has audience seeking fun that remains hidden!

Mrunal Thakur and Abhimanyu Dassani in Aankh Micholi. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Aankh Micholi means the game of hide-and-seek, and this film has the audience seeking fun and entertainment that remains hidden—simply because it does not exist in the first place!

A complete shocker from a director who made exceptional films like OMG—Oh My God! and 102—Not Out, we get an extremely harebrained plot, asinine situations, oddball characters that are far from wholesome, and humor that is consummately unfunny. I can easily term it among the very worst movies of not just 2023 but the last five years, but without the slightest doubt, it is the most terrible comedy I have watched since this genre in Hindi cinema became smarter and funnier since the iconic Hera Pheri 23 years ago!

Two weird families are there: Paro (Mrunal Thakur) belongs to one of them, lives in Hoshiarpur, Punjab with her father Navjot Singh (Paresh Rawal), brothers Harbhajan Singh (Abhishek Banerjee) and Yuvraj Singh (Sharman Joshi), Yuvraj’s wife Billo (Divya Dutta) and their child, Goldie (Aaryansh Malviya).

The family is challenged in various ways. Navjot, an Ayurvedic doctor who operates from home, forgets the simplest things. While Yuvraj is deaf, Harbhajan stammers and Paro suffers from night blindness. On a trip to Switzerland with her friends, Paro sees Rohit Patel (Abhimanyu Dassani) who rescues her stolen purse from a thug. But Rohit does not see her.

Back home, Paro is told by family that they have found a match for her—it turns out that the boy is Rohit. Paro, however, is not able to see him as Rohit arrives at her place at night. And we thought night-blindness was a non-issue in electric lighting!

Just as Yuvraj’s wife has never been told about his deafness until marriage and then an elaborate subterfuge had been enacted, Paro’s secret is not revealed to Rohit’s parents (Darshan Jariwala and Grusha Kapoor) and another feather-brained plot is hatched to deceive the prospective groom, whose mother is a Punjabi while father is a Gujarati! Now that is the weird family number two!

Billo overhears that she has been deceived as husband Yuvraj was always deaf. Now, Billo is furious enough to try and counter the family plot so that Paro is exposed, even though she loves her.

However, things are not what they seem—and Rohit too has a health secret! Having accepted this crude level of comedy, it will be an unusually dense audience member who does not fathom what Rohit’s illness might be. But what happens in the second half of this “family scam” (as the director called it when he made a fleeting appearance at the press screening!) breaks all rules in intelligence and logic, and we do not experience even the ‘H’ of humor!

It is sad that great actors, either tempted by pelf or by their relationship with the director, have agreed to support this incredible movie banality. Needless to snigger, everyone is out of their depth, led by an astonishingly bland lead pair. Paresh Rawal has rarely done such pathetic humor (even Hungama 2 was a masterpiece compared to this one!) and Darshan Jariwala too, tries his best.

Grusha Kapoor as Rohit’s mother is intolerable in the 25th year of her career (she made her debut as the heroine of Maha Yuddh in 1998!). Divya Dutta is termed as a “mix of Lalita Powar and Nirupa Roy” in the character introductions and shines here and there.

Sharman Joshi and Abhishek Banerjee are also helpless, especially the latter, who is otherwise an intrepid performer with comedy of a good caliber. Vijay Raaz is also out of his depth.

Even the technical values seem dated and the music is a disaster with the background music being nothing to write home about—both are by Sachin-Jigar.As for the script, its edit, the direction and the overall film, all I can say is OMG—Oh My God! Is this a film?! Is this a comedy??!! Are we really watching such stuff being actually made in 2023???!!!

Rating: ½*

Sonu Pictures International’s & Merry-Go-Round Studios’ Aankh Micholi Produced by: Umesh Shukla, Ashish Wagh & Sampada Wagh Directed by: Umesh Shukla  Written by: Jitendra Parmar  Music: Sachin-Jigar  Starring: Abhimanyu Dassani, Mrunal Thakur, Paresh  Rawal, Sharman Joshi, Abhishek Banerjee, Divya Dutta, Darshan Jariwala, Grusha Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Aaryansh Malviya & others





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