You know that thing called ‘thay-ter’ – where people go on stage, speak really loudly, open their eyes wide and laugh uproariously to make their point? Well, ‘thay-ter’ can be good – but transported to cinema, it can stretch a bit thin. And feature some awkward moments – of which Bumboo has a few. A word you’d normally hesitate to use in polite company, this mad comedy, inspired by French film L’Emmerdeur, pluckily features no big stars. Instead, character actor Sharat Saxena – muscular villain ‘Ronnie’ of Ghulam – is its most famous face. As sniper Mangal, Saxena mostly holds it together, the film showing a few bright flashes, but then slipping into low-brow comedy that’s so self-consciously ‘thay-ter’.
Yet, Bumboo has some notable frames. It opens with Mika’s warm-as-whiskey voice singing lustily of how ‘life ki ho gayi bumboo’, comments on comedy turning into ‘treasury’, a cop-raid on a Mumbai chawl unearthing a 1200-crore-worth swindler Manu Gupta (Pandey at his most scatological), taken to court in Goa. Here, the plot starts running mad rings, underworld hit-man (Saxena) dispatched to silence Gupta, a depressive photographer (Dave), a tip-thirsty bellboy (Mishra), junior hoods et al joining in. Bumboo has the occasional line of pure hilarity – hotel waiter Gomes remarks loftily, “Mein management ke munh nahin lagta,” his timing with Saxena near-perfect, the latter’s focus shaken when fellow hotel guest Suresh Sudhakar (‘SuSu’ to critics – yes, you heard right), the chubby Dave, tries to kill himself, babe-licious wife Pinky (Mandy) preferring lechy Dr. D’Souza (Kaul). Petrified the police might rain on his assignment, Mangal tries keeping ‘Su’ from suicide.
But stuff happens – including a sedative injection shot into the wrong person, goons in hot pursuit forgetting their stepney at home and a cop in a cupboard. Add a hot babe emerging from the sea like Ursula Andress, cleavage showcased as talent, and that’s a merry mix. Except for the ‘thay-ter’ – that wide-eyed overacting with incessant PJs, gay no-jokes, even some vomiting. Peppy background music lifts the bar frequently while cracks on screwdrivers and biwi-chors help. But Bumboo gets shafted by its lapses into lavatory humour – and too much thay-ter for cinema.
Hired gun Mangal meets suicidal Suresh – while shooting a swindler. Does fate shaft the best-laid plans?