Govinda Naam Mera review: It's a timepass watch if you just give in to what is happening onscreen and ignore everything else the film is aspiring so hard to do!
These days, many films are odes to old Bollywood films and filmmakers with the touch of the voice of the filmmaker of today. And Govinda Naam Mera is trying to do exactly that and pay an ode to old-school Bollywood comedy of errors. But it dangles somewhere between Monica O My Darling, an ode, and An Action Hero, a satire. So for Govinda Naam Mera, it could be fairly said that in the wake of desperately trying to be everything, it loses its own originality and ends up being kinda offensive.
Govinda Waghmare (Vicky Kaushal), who is called Govy, Govind A, and many other things except Govinda is that over-burdened invisible hero whose life is kicking him from all sides. Product of an extramarital affair between a stunt master and a background dancer, Govinda is a struggling background dancer who desperately aspires to be a choreographer. He's in an unhappy marriage with an equally unhappy, bored, hot housewife Gauri (Bhumi Pednekar) who abuses and ridicules his masculinity for her fun. He then takes his broken puppy dog-like ego to be massaged by his sexy background dancer girlfriend Suku (Kiara Advani), who also wants to be a choreographer and runs a small dance group G-SU with Govinda. Already in a dispute with his half-brother over his ancestral house, and taking care of a mother who is in a wheelchair, trouble increases tenfold for Govinda when he gets involved in stealing drugs from a huge drug lord as well as a murder.
From quite afar, if you just give in to the conundrums of the happenings of the film with all its guessable twists and turns, Govinda Naam Mera is surface-level entertaining and funny even. But it's quickly forgettable since there's no impact of the film and it's not convincing enough, especially its lazy climax. Yes, it will surely remind you of those Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Govinda family drama comedies that you could heartily enjoy with your family but will disappoint you instantly as it falls short of those wholesome entertainers because of its own shortcomings.
Shashank Khaitan seems to be tussling between making a cliche - a typical mass entertainer that relies on gender stereotypes and an experimental satirical comedy of today. And in the wake of it, he gives in to the tried and tested waters of before. So he includes everything from whodunnit angles, a land dispute issue, sexist jokes, the struggles of living in Mumbai as a background dancer, and a satire of the mediocrity of the entertainment industry, none of which is thoroughly explored or even given the right weightage. For a moment you can even ignore things being left off at situations instead of explaining it because of the 'comedy of errors' genres but then the humor starts to feel like redundant WhatsApp forwards, and forgettable memes which sounds offensive especially when it reduces female characters to mere stereotypes and you feel nothing for the humans of the film as there is no emotional connect either.
Now, this is often the problem with Bollywood! In the wake of being representative, it becomes an assumption of things at best that border on validating problematic behavior like making jokes at the cost of sounding sexist, normalizing dowry, and showcasing typical male fantasies; all of this should be best left behind! And everything about the how and why of a whodunnit thriller that makes it thrilling is at a loose end in this film which is tied up unconvincingly in the end. No wonder the film ends with some of the characters fainting as if the film is saying that it's tired of itself!
Though Govinda Naam Mera's satirical take on the mediocrity of the entertainment and music industry is a fun take. And while it could've been developed more but an avid addict wanting to make a song not because he has any talent whatsoever but just because his father has money is the most fun thing in the entire film. Just like one of those typical loud empty drum beating songs that have nonsensical lyrics, repetitive beats, and need a yacht, women in bikinis, and a singer just moving around to look glamorous.
Other than that, the film comes across as a much bigger disappointment than it is! Because when you have an exceptionally talented cast like Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar who try their absolute best to salvage the film with their quick wit and timing and use Kiara Advani who isn't just a beautiful side piece attraction and give them a film that got lost in its translation in spite of having all the material to make it a full masala entertainer is a massive let down! The only shining stars of this film that I absolutely loved watching with whatever screen time they had and wished they had more were Viraj Ghelani (Gauri's Boyfriend) and Trupti Khamkar (Gauri's maid Manju). And of course Ranbir Kapoor's cameo!
In order to become an ode and also a commentary, Govinda Naam Mera just simply became an irony and a lesson in what not to do because in trying too hard to become a film that people will like, it loses itself and ends up becoming exactly what it is making fun of! And hence it becomes a film that is neither too bad nor too good but basically blah.
This film is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar!
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