My Friend Pinto

Movie still

Director: Raaghav Dar

Cast: Prateik, Kalki Koechlin, Arjun Mathur, Shruti Seth, Makrand Deshpande, Divya Dutta, Raj Zutshi, Haji Amin

Indian Express rating: *1/2

A simpleton let loose in a big bad city is one of those eternal movie plots which keep raising its head every now and then. This is then, with Prateik as the bumbling, fresh-off- the-boat fellow from Goa, losing and finding himself on Mumbai streets on a New Year's eve night. Pinto is so nice that even bad guys turn into marshmallows, and so naÔvely invincible that nothing evil can happen to him.

The only way this kind of film can work is if the director can weave in a fable-like quality. The trouble with `My Friend Pinto' is that it takes so long to get to the point where it starts to feel like a film that you almost give up. Characters tumble about, minus direction. This gives Prateik too much time to be the smiley bumpkin who puts a brave face on his hurts, the clumsy oaf who breaks things in his best friend-and-his-wife's (Mathur , Seth) home, who gets locked out onto the balcony, and then is catapulted into a night of crazy adventure, full of the doings of a lovelorn don (Deshpande), his failed actress girl friend (Dutta), his inept henchmen (Zutshi, Amin), a pretty, lost girl (Koechlin), and a pup.

Prateik veers between hamsville and some nice moves, in which he manages to pull it together : Koechlin plays well in bits and pieces, too. And the end is energetic, making up, somewhat, for the random, chaotic air the film has worn till it gets there. But the rest is strictly amateursville.

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