New, Delhi, Jan 28 (Jagran News Network):

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Omi Vaidya, Shazahn Padamsee, Shruti Haasan, Tisca Chopra, Shraddha Das
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar rating: ***

Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (DTBHJ) is an important film for Madhur Bhandarkar. Apart from the fact that he is working with actors not known for being subtle, Madhur has for the first time tried his hand at something he is not known for: making fluffy films.

DTBHJ is a romantic-comedy which makes you laugh but quite frankly, makes you miss Bhandarkar’s trademark realism from flicks like Chandni Bar, Corporate, Fashion etc, films which won him three National Awards.

So keep your Bhandarkar baggage out of the theatre. The film is filled with crass, guy jokes, frilly antics of mature men running after love and oh yes, a gay man.

The story is about three guy friends who are running after their respective female interests. Naren (Ajay) is a 40-something bank manager who is on the brink of a divorce. A new office intern June Pinto (Shazan) grabs his attention in the boring office confines. Abhay (Emraan) is a playboy gym instructor who believes in flirting but gets confused between a mom (Tisca Chorpa) and her daughter (Shruti Haasan). Naïve Milind (Omi) is too besotted with a wannabe actress Gungun (Shraddha) who exploits him no end.

The film is what you would expect a light-hearted film to be. But because it is directed by Bhandarkar, one would certainly expect an edge. The script however is quite run-of-the-mill and does not quite support the performances.

Ajay has acted his part quite convincingly – being a straight, cautious guy who has fallen out from a relationship. Emraan is Emraan to the hilt – stylish, flirtatious, bad boy. Omi extends his 3 Idiots lad image by portraying a silly guy who even spends every penny on small stuff for the girl of his dreams. Women in the film too have stuck to the expected lines and Tisca stands out with her cougar act.

It boils down to whether Bhandarkar should continue with his realistic cinema or make such switches. We would say he has undoubtedly established himself as an acclaimed film-maker of serious (women-oriented) issues, there is no harm in taking up ‘low-brow’ genre once in a while. Not always, of course.