22nd October 2020

Comedy Couple(Zee5)

Starring Saqib Saleem,Shweta Basu Tripathi

Directed  by  Nachiket Samant

Rating: **

For a film about two stand-up comedians  there is   very  little to laugh  about in Comedy Couple.     In  one  sequence in a civil court the hero rebukes his  friend for smoking. “Tu court mein aayahai!”

The  doped/drunk/zonked friend replies, ‘Nahin main  to shirt mein aaya hoon.’

Ha ha.

Elsewhere one havaldar tells  another a  distasteful  joke centering  on  a pun on the  word ‘A-daab’.

I suggest  you hold  on to these moments. They are  funnier than anything that  our  ‘comedy couple’ does on  stage.  Saqib Saleem and Shweta Basu Prasad  try  hard  to  breathe  life into their characters as  stand-comedians who share a live-in relationship. Their  on-stage  jokes are  so flat  I wondered  if  the whole  stand-up routine  is an elaborate  gag on self-destruction.

Also Read:  Krushna Abhishek On His Ongoing Feud With Uncle Govinda

In a recent webseries Four  More Shots Please a real-life stand-up comedienne  Manvi Gagrooplayed  a  stand-up. Her conflict  with her  partner  looked  credible. Saqib and Sweta,  poor souls, wade through  reams of  unfunny stand-up material  in search  of  a core of  truth to their  comic partnership.

Tragically  unfunny  Comedy Couple is  a huge disappointment for all the actors who try to  take the  comic material seriously.  The   flat jokes from the stage  on  how  much sex  the couple  has when they are in the mood, is extended to their  real life. Joke No 1: Zoya(Basu Prasad)  and  Deep(Salim) pretend to be siblings  to  rent a   flat. Joke  No.2:  Deep’s parents  show  up  at his door when he’s jailed for insulting the Hindu religion during a stand-up act(standup comedian insulting religion, get it?) . 

Also Read:  “Your Talent Should Be Your Drug,” Shekhar Suma Condemns Bharati Singh

Joke no 3: are  you still here?  I was there, right till the end waiting for the punchline to a joke that never took off.For  a film heaving with  themes and ideas on live-in relationships, freedom  of expression,  couple goals in  the same profession, moral policing and  bowel  movements, there’s  a  sad scarcity of entertainment value  in the  pale proceedings.

 More than  exasperating, the problems that  Deep and Zoya face(including their manager  in  shirt  with  sliced watermelon imprints who  likes to take  a dump at  unearthly hours in strangers’ bathrooms) are  simply  uninteresting. Sorry, but  Zoya and Deep’s problems  left me completely unmoved. 

Zoya’s elitist  mother played by  Pooja Bedi  likes  painting nudes. She’s welcome to do anything she wants as  long as we  don’t  have to watch her trying to  entertain herself.We have problems  in that area  of our own to deal with.

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