First things first, here is a comedy that is not slapstick in nature with three good actors in a lead role. In fact all the three lead actors i.e. Paresh Rawal, Konkona Sen Sharma and Ajay Devgn have been honored with national awards. People who are bored of the recent slapstick comedies by Priyadarshan can find a refuge in Ashwani Dhir directed Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge. The film is based on a short story by a noted satirist called Sharad Joshi and tries to take a look into the Indian values among people living in metros.
The film begins on a light note with Puneet (Ajay Devgn) getting the role of a script writer for a big banner in film industry, although his script is gibberish (pun intended). His life changes when he confronts with Lambodar Chachaji (Paresh Rawal) who claims to be a relative of Puneet. This un-invited guest gives trouble to Puneet and his wife Munmun (Konkona Sen Sharma) who is an interior designer. The family who was longing for a guest is now on back foot as this guest wakes up early in the morning and gargles loudly and needs a meal that is equivalent to the whole family.
The first half of the movie is hilarious, with all three actors doing their work to perfection. Paresh Rawal as a guest who shows no sign of leaving the household is in command of his character. The couple does everything possible to turn the guest away but nothing works, not even hiring a goon for the task. From this point onwards, the movie becomes a lesson on moral values for the young couple. This happens to be a weak link in this tale as the director seems confused- whether to give a lesson or a dose of comedy. The switch happens rather instantly and doesn’t look convincing enough. The film could have been edited further as we know it has been adapted from a short story, so limiting the length would have been a good idea here.
There are some really funny scenes here by the director including a hilarious Bhajan which has the tune of Beedi Jalaile. The first half has some nice moments like these before giving in to emotional melodrama in the second half. The dialogues are not efficient enough considering the ensemble cast. The director gives his best in the initial stages itself and doesn’t have enough battery in the second half. The final monologue by Puneet on valuing guests and elders stands out.
The film can be watched for a nuanced performance by Paresh Rawal as an unwanted guest. He is a complete powerhouse and plays his character with utmost sincerity and conviction. His mannerisms are a treat to watch with an apt reaction to them by Konkona and Ajay. It is a good movie but could have been better.