Mumbai, 07 Sep 2018 6:00 IST
The action shifts from the present to the past and back, but the viewer is kept guessing about the crux of the conflict until the interval.
The opening credits of Party are a quirky take on ‘what they say versus what they mean’. The choreographer is Partycha Mithunda (Mithun of Party), the singers are Partyche Lata, Kishore ani Mukesh, publicity designer the gaavbhar bhobhaata (village loudmouth), producers Pahije Te Maagwa (order whatever you want) and director is Sarvajanik Khamba (public pole/alcohol bottle).
The loud entrance song is in complete contrast with the first scene in which we see four men in a state of panic inside a car. The narrator establishes the relationship among the four even as he gasps for breath and is later diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
Cut to the past when the four friends were young boys, tasting the first drops of pubescent freedom and energy. A bottle of cheap alcohol is enough for Chakrya (Akshay Tanksale), Manya (Rohit Haldikar), Omkar (Suvrat Joshi) and Sumit (Stavan Shinde) whose idea of ‘party’ is to be sloshed out of their minds. They often get into trouble with their parents for their wayward ways. Chakrya hopes to make a living playing gully cricket, Manya is preparing to be an engineer, Omkar is just a privileged bugger with rich parents, and Sumit is an aspiring cricketer with considerable talent.
They fall in love with girls from their neighbourhood and college, stalk married women, and while away their time loafing around, providing some hilarious moments for the viewers. The sexist nature of their banter is hardly acceptable but can be ignored.
Director Sachin Darekar, who had written the screenplay and dialogues for films like Morya (2011) and Aayna Ka Bayna (2013), has written Party with Prashant Loke. Darekar’s last film as screenwriter, Shoor Amhi Sardar (2017), was also a story about friends and their personal struggles. It looks as if he has carried on in the same vein to present a more upbeat and fun film that is often loud, even over-the-top. He dwells little on building up his characters, using comedy gags to move the plot along. In Party, the action shifts from the present to the past and back, but the viewer is kept guessing about the crux of the conflict up until the interval.
As the boys outgrow their childishness and life throws curve balls at them, they part ways. When they meet 18 years later, a lot has changed for the narrator, not necessarily for the better. The lack of attention to detail shows when you find a man pushing 40, who is no Sachin Tendulkar, still playing for the country. Many of the side characters are funny but unrealistic.
The gags make you laugh, but it all ends when Omkar lands in hospital and the boys are forced to rethink their personal choices and dedication to each other. You can’t help but notice the shallowness of the story even with its touching moral and frothy end.
Akshay Tanksale is funny. He was a riot in this year’s Hostel Days and in Party he brings fresh energy to his act. He is good in the more serious scenes, too. Rohit Haldikar does a fairly good job, while Stavan Shinde has a commanding screen presence. Suvrat Joshi’s act often seems theatrical. Prajakta Mali as Arpita and Manjiri Pupala as Dipali are decent.
What did catch this reviewer’s attention was the make-up department’s flawless work. The look of the characters years apart is seamless and quite convincing. Not overdoing the salt-n-pepper hair keeps it real. Among the songs, 'Kalzaat Ghanti Vazte' is charming and stays with you.
A poem recited at the end mentions how in the web of success and instalments, we forget to pay our EMIs towards a friendship. Cheesy and preachy as it sounds, the line rings true.
All in all, Party is an entertaining watch. Expecting too much could dampen your celebration.
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