Today is 5th September, being celebrated as the Teachers’ Day in India, paying tribute to our ex-president – Late Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and several other teachers who try to follow his path. On this occasion, I am reviewing a movie which is just average when examined on the assay of quality, however the theme is quite good and the message rendered is something to be borne in mind, especially by the teachers at large.This flop and badly criticized movie is Good Boy Bad Boy (2007) whose story revolves around an ideal teacher and two students (one termed as the ‘Good Boy’ and another termed as the ‘Bad Boy’).The story is set in a college marred by indiscipline of the students. It is joined by a new principal – Deewaan Chand Awasthi (Paresh Rawal) who once used to be a student of this college. Mr. Awasthi firmly believes that there is nothing like absolute badness in a student. It’s the goodness which needs to be identified and nurtured in every student because it exists in everybody in one or the other form. He starts working on the basis of this philosophy of his and divides the students of every class into three sections (A, B and C) on the basis of their academic performance, nature, aptitude and personality. However it does not happen in case of two students – Raajan Malhotra (Tushar Kapoor) and Raaju Malhotra (Emraan Haashmi) who get sections quite opposite to their actual status. The so-called Good Boy – Raajan is sent to section C whereas the notorious Bad Boy – Raaju is sent to section A. Awasthi does it under the pretext of interchange of names (the identity cards of both of them read ‘R. Malhotra’) but the truth is that he deliberately wanted to do it because he wants the Bad Boy to shed his bad habits and start taking interest in studies whereas on the other hand, he wants the Good Boy (who is actually a book worm) to be a bit extrovert and start taking interest in extra-curricular activities to develop an all-round personality. And he succeeds in the end when the desired improvements are visible in the personalities of both these boys. Both can be termed as good boys now.Despite being copy of a Hollywood movie – Class Act (1992), the story is good but the director Ashwini Chaudhary and the producer (and perhaps the ghost director) Subhash Ghai could not restrain themselves from inserting regular Bollywood formula in the screenplay and thus spoiling the very objective and mood of the movie. Until you set the commercial angle aside at least for some time, you cannot do justice to a noble theme chosen for the movie. And that’s exactly happened with this badly made good movie. The movie fails to impress upon the audience its theme and objective and appears just like another regular and average potboiler made to draw the college-going youths as well as the permanent frontbenchers to the theater.The movie as well as its main protagonist (Mr. Awasthi, the principal of the college) is not able to clarify as to why a good boy is to be transformed into a not-so-good boy. Just to bring the extra-curricular talents of a book worm to the fore, there is no need to put him in the category ‘C’ when he deserves ‘A’ on the basis of his high academic performance, good habits and admirable nature. In section ‘C’ he is compelled to sit with the spoiled boys (and girls) who can be termed as the problem-children or rotten tomatoes. On the contrary, the Bad Boy is undeservingly put in the category ‘A’. Is he rewarded for being bad ? Won’t he spoil the environment of the section studded with studious and teacher-respecting cultured boys and girls by his uncalled for language, activities and behavior ? The steps taken by the principal to instigate the desired changes in these boys appear to be childish. Besides, it appears that the principal is hell-bent upon transforming these two boys only and not the hundreds of other students in the college.Since there are two young heroes, there bound to be two young heroines too to play as their love-interests. Hence we have a Bad Girl – Dinky Kapoor (Tanushree Dutta) for the Good Boy and a Good Girl – Rashmi Awasthi (Isha Shravani) for the Bad Boy. The Good Girl is none else but the daughter of the principal himself. These poor heroines (especially the Bad Girl) don’t appear to be knowing as to what they are expected to do (in addition to romancing with the respective heroes). Other than the principal and one lecturer (played by Abdullah Nasser), the teachers of the college are caricatures.
All the same, I feel that the message rendered is good though not conveyed properly. Every boy or girl is good from origin and it’s the duty of his / her guardians on one hand and his / her teachers on the other to first identify and then exasperate and nurture what is good in him / her. Labeling is easy. Helping that boy / girl to get rid of that undesirable tag is difficult. And unfortunately, most of the teachers follow the easier path because they do not want to take any pains to follow the difficult path which ultimately leads to highly positive results – positive for the individual, positive for the institution, positive for the concerned student’s family and positive for the society at large.
The movie underscores the significance of the role that can be played by the family members of a ‘Bad Boy’ in reforming him. If he takes a positive step, at least his family members should forget the tag of Bad Boy attached to him and appreciate him, boosting his morale for going further ahead in the right direction.
Technically the movie is ok. The environment envisaged in a normal (Indian) college only appears on the screen. Editing is satisfactory and the movie is not unduly long also. Background score along with the songs and dances is average. Action scenes also offer nothing new.
Except Paresh Rawal who is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema, all the actors have delivered average performances. Tanushree Dutta has left no stone un-turned in exposing and her trying to seduce her hero (Tushaar Kapoor) in a scene looks highly ridiculous. Perhaps the script-writer had written that scene in a particular state of his mind.
Though almost all the reviewers had termed it as sheer trash, I do not think so. In my view, despite flaws, this movie is a one time watch for the purpose of entertainment. It does not inspire (which it should have, considering the theme chosen) but it definitely entertains and does not compel the audience to look at their watches. Plus those who aspire to join the teaching profession and rise in that, should sincerely study the character of Principal Awasthi of this movie and attempt to follow his thought-train and approach.
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