From the get go, Madhur Bandarkar’s Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji reminded me of the 1982 hit Shaukeen. The story follows three elderly men played by Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A.K. Hangal who are looking for some “fun” later on in life. By far, the film is one of the best Basu Chatterjee films who is incredibly apt at the comedy genre. But the same can’t be said about Madhur. The otherwise realistic filmmaker is clearly tired of the same hoopla and thus, needed some comic relief from the serious genre of films he is known for making. And so, with a varied bunch of actors: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Omi Vaidya, the director takes on love at different points in life along with personalities in hopes to make a funny film for a change. The actors all come together for the first time to create fun havoc or so they claim as they promote the film everywhere possible. But ultimately there is only one question to be asked: does Madhur manage to dodge genres?
Naren Ahuja’s (Ajay Devgn) marriage has gone sour and thus, he quickly realizes he needs to move out. On this accord, he finds two roommates. The first is Milind Kelkar (Omi Vaidya), a matchmaker and wannabe poet. The next is Abhay (Emraan Hashmi) who is a gym trainer, gold digger and Casanova. Naren’s life is turned upside down when new young intern, June Pinto (Shazahn Padamsee) makes an entrance in his life. He quickly finds himself attracted to her but is unsure of how to tackle the age difference. And then there is Milind Kelkar who has fallen in love with radio jockey Gungun Sarkar (Shraddha Das). The matchmaker is keen on setting himself up and goes out of his way to impress the wannabe actress as she initially uses him for a number of reasons. Abhay on the other hand, is seen bouncing from girl to girl until he finds his ATM Anushka Narang (Tisca Chopra), bored socialite who treats him to a fancy lifestyle. But things turn around when Abhay falls in love with Anushka’s daughter, Nikki (Shruti Haasan). However, while they find initial happiness in their new love lives, they find themselves looking at love from different perspectives when a number of boulders hit their lives.
What works big time for Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji is that besides being a romantic comedy, it touches upon a number of social issues too. But of course, it does sell itself as a comedy film which it really is. For a first dabble, Madhur scores high. The situations are not only immensely funny and the one-liners are a complete killer. However, it does lose track midway after which you do tend to lose interest until it finally picks up yet again. Each of the lads have individual love situations which have their highs and lows. In the end, they all are predictable. And yet again, we deal with a number of clichés as well, the cougar, the gold digger, the mid-life crisis and a gay dude. When will we get over it? The climax however, is really funny; a clear highlight of the film. As for Madhur, he should stick to what he knows best but that doesn’t make Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji one to be missed.
What works best for the film are the performances. The highlight is Ajay Devgn who plays the banker in love with an intern with grace. He proves yet again, he can do it all. And might I add, that as of late, the actor has been looking incredibly sexy; not that he wasn’t before but more so in recent times. Emraan Hashmi is his usual flirty self. Of course, he knows this role only too well. It clearly is his home ground. However, his one liners are to a laugh riot. Omi Vaidya is supremely cute! His poems and shy attitude is endearing. However, he does need to shed the stereotype he is creating for himself and do something a tad bit different from here on. Shraddha Das is effective. Shazahn Padamsee tries hard and does work in some scenes; for the most part her goodie two shoes act gets boring. Tisca Chopra is fabulous in her bored vampy cameo. Shruti Haasan only appears post the interval but does aptly.
The music of the film is short and simply average. So should you watch Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji? It definitely is a fun Sunday watch which thankfully isn’t a no brainer nor is it a sex-filled nonsensical comedy; its clean honest fun. And considering this may be Madhur’s only non-realistic film, you should catch it!