There’s been a lot of rubbish on the big screen these past few months. Yet, Gurmmeet Singh’s What the Fish is so irredeemably bad it stands out. For starters, this has to the worst movie title in decades. The plot is excruciatingly predictable. Not one character is worth rooting for. And you can judge its grip on reality by the fact that the tubby Manu Rishi Chadha plays a Casanova.
Sudha Mishra (Dimple Kapadia; bad-tempered and sadly unappealing) has left her house in Vasant Kunj in the hands of her niece’s boyfriend. She leaves two sets of instructions – feed the fish, water the money plant. Of course, in time-honoured tradition, boyfriend organises a party the minute she leaves, and things go south. A half-dozen or so characters, all deeply uninteresting, assume responsibility for home, fish and plant, and fail to do the needful in ways that are the opposite of amusing.
I won’t bother telling you about the Jat in love with a boxer from Manipur and trying to blackmail another boxer with a cross-dressing mujra MMS. Let me point you, instead, towards the rotten heart of the movie. It’s a ten-minute sequence involving a girl from Saharanpur who’s been left in charge of Sudha’s house by her fiancée. To make matters worse, said fiancée’s friend – whom he’d requested to keep an eye on her – comes on strong. There's a stunningly insensitive scene, played for laughs, where the Lothario scares her into inviting him into the house. Amazingly, he then cons his way into her bed. The next morning, instead of feeling violated or, at the very least, guilty, she looks happy. Turns out she’s so simple-minded she assumes that because they slept together, they’re husband and wife now. Welcome to the desert of the really stupid.
This review appeared in Time Out Delhi.