By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The much-hyped debut of ‘Gutthi’ Sunil Grover on his autonomous comedy show Mad In India was a bit of damp squib.
Don’t get me wrong. The masala in the mirth was nicely sprinkled into a palatable pastiche of parody, satire and social comment.But really, was this Sunil Grover’s show or was it Baba Ramdev’s free-for-all? Including a generous display of the yoga guru’s agile abdomen.
At the end of the show, it seemed Baba’s belly was all that really moved.
Ramdev once again proved himself a natural-born before the camera.
So what’s new? The camera-friendly Yoga guru did asanas cracked jokes, and invited anchor Manish Paul to join him in the revelry. But where was Gutthi in all this merry-making? Grover’s Gutthi, now transformed only by name, continued to do all the things that we saw him doing on Comedy Nights With Kapil.
To be fair, Grover by any feminine name Gutthi or Chutki, exudes a very likeable aura. And yes, Grover also assumed the avatar of a corrupt, shameless neta and ….well… didn’t bring the house down.The lines need to be much quicker and funnier if they are going to get us seriously amused.
In short, the spark was missing. Was it just the beginners’ hiccup? We certainly hope so. The inaugural episode of Mad In India lacked the bite and the verve that one expected from the very talented Sunil Grover. Not his fault. He wasn’t on screen for enough playing-time.
It was Manish Paul and Baba Ramdev all the way in the first episode. We expected more of Grover because the show sold itself to us as his star-launch.
In telling contrast the episode of Comedy Nights With Kapil on Sunday night when Grover gave us his giggles’ worth, was a knock-out. Pinky Bua(Upasana Singh)’s purported shaadi and Farhan Akhtar’s sparkling and subtle comic timing came together in a rush of entertaining humour.
For now at least it is definitely Advantage Kapil.
But Grover gives me hope. “It will get better, I promise you,” says Grover who is currently shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s production Gabbar in Pune.