Ekkees topon ki salaam is a shining example of how to take a cool story idea and then proceed to make such an utter mess of the whole thing that you want to kill the Director with ekkees topes going off at the same time.
Joshi is an honest BMC employee who has spent all his working life spraying mosquito repellant in the lanes of Mumbai. He has two good for nothing sons. On is corrupt and the other wants to be a politician and so is a ‘chamcha’ of the corrupt CM. The old man is accused of stealing his mosquito-spraying machine on the day of his retirement and is suspended. Heartbroken, his dying wish is that he wants a 21 gun salute. Now his ‘nikamma’ sons turn over a new leaf and are determined to do that for him. Conveniently at the same time the CM dies. Moe conveniently, the girlfriend of one of the sons is the CM’s speechwriter. They try to replace his with the CM’s body in the funeral so that he gets the salute and that is the rest of this movie.
The premise is quirky and lends itself to a lot of drama. However, there are too many twists in the plot, too many illogical things and too many convenient events that push the story ahead. These things combined make your head reel in confusion and irritation. Also, the presence of three totally unwanted songs makes the movie too long at two and a half hours.
The acting is pretty good from the entire star cast. Divyendu Sharma and Manu Rishi as the two sons are very natural and convincing. Aditi Sharma holds it together as Shekhar’s girlfriend and the CM’s speechwriter. She has a crucial role to play in the drama and the understated way she goes about it helps the film tremendously. Anupam is Anupam even while playing a dead man. Neha Dhupia gets a cool song where she gets to imitate all the actresses in their famous songs (choli ke peechhe, satyam shivam, kajra re etc) but apart from that generally overacts and spoils things. The person who steals the show is Uttara Baokar as the CM’s mom with aspirations to power when her son dies. She is a treat to watch as she swings between crying for her dead son, handling the Swiss bank people and talking to High Command about being made CM. Such actors sometimes save a movie from totally sinking.
Overall, this movie suffers from schizophrenia. It teeters between melodrama, comedy, dramatic action and plain nonsense, not allowing us to settle down. The totally out of place song in the end credits contribute to the schizophrenic feel. It is not totally boring but too long to make it watchable. See it on TV where you can do other things in the boring bits.