7 March 2010 | bobbysing
Another sincere attempt to revive the Hrishi Da magic on screen.
At first the movie made a wrong impression when it came out with an inspired poster from the English Flick "License To Wed" as its first look. Later after the new posters came in, the makers couldn't impress the viewers with their 'Just OK' promos on all the TV channels. As a result the film was not able to generate enough curiosity in the trade circles, despite of the presence of Paresh Rawal in its lead comic role.
And now after watching the so called comedy, it can be easily said that the final outcome is exactly similar to its average promotional campaign and nothing else. Though director Ashwni Dhir sincerely tries to revive the magic of those realistic and lovable films by Hrishikesh Mukherjee & Basu Chatterjee. But his ATKJ fails to make an overall impact on the viewer and misses the mark just like the recently released "Toh Baat Pakki".
Based on the plot of an unwanted guest (Atithi) in the house, the movie starts off well and manages to impress the viewer with an appreciable climax too. But it's between these two ends that it loses the grip over the subject and starts wandering into many predictable, uninteresting and repetitive sequences which unfortunately take away the beauty from its noticeable concluding 30 minutes. For instance how many times we have seen a married couple going to a hotel to spend few days and then being caught in a sudden police raid at the place.
Instead of writing some novel and fresh scenes in the script, the writers have gone for the usual comic punches involving the Police and Underworld Don seen many times before in similar other projects. To be precise the first scene of the movie itself is highly inspired from the famous Pakistani Stage Artist "Umar Sharif's comedy play". Apart from these, the overused farting sequences of Paresh also tend to go over the top after a while. Moreover the characters remain the part of a movie only and the viewer never feels any empathy towards their tough & helpless circumstances.
However there are few worth watching moments in the flick, which are able to save it from being called a merely below average product. One is its beautifully directed final hour which gives you the glimpses of our rich traditional values and culture. Second are the highly enjoyable and well acted scenes of Satish Kaushik with Paresh Rawal, capable of moving you emotionally. And third are its two devotional tracks with their innovative western arrangements by Pritam especially the "Mata Ki Arti" track made on the composition of "Beedi Jaliye Le" Performance wise, Paresh Rawal excels in the title role of an Atithi. He truly looks great and acts superbly as a village person visiting Mumbai after a long gap. Konkona is very natural and real in her portrayal of a lady trying to cope up between her home and work. But Ajay Devgan is strictly OK with nothing exceptional to write about. Satish Kaushik is a delight to watch in his few scenes and from the rest of the cast Sanjay Mishra stands out as the watchman. The child artist playing the couple's son doesn't get much scope in the script. Musically the soundtrack is fine with a catchy title track from Amit Mishra, but it cannot sell as a Music CD alone in the market. Cinematography serves the purpose well and dialogues are good in some particular scenes.
In short, ATKJ is a sincere attempt but could have been much better with some fresh and hilarious sequences added into the script. Actually it's a light comic drama and not a complete comedy as misleadingly projected by its makers. It fails to generate any laughter but is capable of making you smile at regular intervals. A simple and clean movie, which can be watched with the entire family on a weekend holiday.
According to the opening titles the movie is inspired from a short story or article by Late Sharad Joshi, but I also found the subject hugely similar to Satyajit Ray's masterpiece "Agantuk" meaning Stranger, which had the great Utpal Dutt playing the unwanted guest in the house.