Director: Ashwni Dhir
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Kartik Aaryan, Tanvi Azmi, Kriti Kharbanda, Sanjai Mishra
Where do I begin?
Let me just start by saying that Aryan (Kartik Aaryan) and Anaya (Kriti Kharbanda), who begin the film as fickle desi strangers in London entering into a fake marriage arrangement, eventually fall in love with each other. Of course they do. She is a taxi driver perpetually prancing around in designer clothes who needs 7000 pounds to “buy” a house, and he is a sorry software slave who needs a British-passport-holding wife to extend his pointless career. Spurred on by the sanskaari-ness of their unwelcome Punjabi guest (a very Gujarati Paresh Rawal) and his wife (Tanvi Azmi), they end up together.
Is this a spoiler? It depends on how you look at life.
I, for one, believe that this is a spoiler only if you end up surviving more than six minutes of its 137. At some point, it is also revealed that the annoying older couple is in fact mourning the death of a son in the 9/11 attacks. Twist much? This can’t be a spoiler either, because the entire film is a spoiler in context of basic human decency. Otherwise, this is just a brave man telling you about an awful, awful, awful Hindi film that you must not endure under any circumstances. Not even if you want to hate-watch Paresh Rawal for his controversial political leanings. Not even if you, like me, thought that its spiritual sequel Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? was half-funny in spite of Ajay Devgn’s rapidly ageing complexion. And definitely not if you think director Ashwni Dhir’s (Son of Sardaar; that is all) idea of funny is, well, legal.
Rawal farts his acting career away with such unerring commitment that he even sings an entire semi-serious politically charged fart song
This is a movie that thinks offensive, sms-level India-Pakistan jokes are still in vogue. Sanjai Mishra appears as a Pakistani neighbour (Mr. Habibi, obviously) who works in British Border Control, and who exists solely to pinpoint every vehement right-winger in your cinema hall. Rawal’s lines to him range from “you Pakistanis always have problems with us” to “You like discretely infiltrating my house despite being a neighbour?” to – and I shit you not – him farting in Habibi’s face when he drunkenly asks for Kashmir.
Which brings me to the film’s go-to punch line: farts. Wet, dry, hollow, loaded. Rawal farts his acting career away with such unerring commitment that he even sings an entire semi-serious politically charged fart song (translated lyrics: America farted in Iraq, and Osama on America; Pakistan lets out silent ones, but our politicians fart openly on microphones). There’s also a scene where Tanvi Azmi violently massages a black baby by holding him upside down and promises to bathe him in pure “malai,” and another where a funeral has a “Baby Doll” themed bhajan with – actually, I don’t think it matters anymore. You shouldn’t be reading this, because I shouldn’t be writing about a film like this. Nobody should be.
To be brutally honest, as soon as I see the name Amar Mohile as the background musician, I know exactly what to expect. Block your ears, close your eyes, put your hands behind your head and weep copious tears of entrapped helplessness. His grammar of scoring scenes has always been similar to Inzamam-ul-Haq’s grammar at post-match presentations. I can hear the writers clapping gleefully at my mention of a Pakistani legend. Or maybe it’s too light-hearted for them.
To cut things short, Guest Iin London is just like its overbearing titular protagonist – deluded, uncouth, incompetent, thick, full of hot gas and forever overstaying its welcome. I’ll be hard pressed to find a more futile and consistently agonizing experience this year at the movies. There are better things to do with our time. Like, perhaps, watch two Arjun Kapoors in the next Anees Bazmee extravaganza.
Watch the trailer of Guest Iin London here: