Remember the Shekhar Suman, Padmini Kolhapure starrer Anubhav, which released in 1986? Naughty @ 40 is a blatant rehash of this yesteryear film. If Anubhav was about a city guy returning to his hometown, Naughty @ 40 is about the protagonist returning to Manali from London. The rest of the story, even the love triangle, is a carbon copy of Anubhav.
The film follows Happy (Govinda), a 40-year-old living in London with his family. The problem is, he’s still a virgin. His father (Anupam Kher) seeks the help of an employee (Shakti Kapoor), who tries all the tricks in the book so that Govinda loses his virginity but in vain.
The family leaves for Manali, where Govinda gets married to Yuvika Choudhary. However, Yuvika is determined to pull pranks with her young friends, which somehow leads to Govinda getting into a relationship with a foreigner. What follows next forms the crux of the story.
The first hour has moments that make you smile but the humour gets bawdy and the film repetitive and tedious. There are moments that are both unnecessary as they fail to evoke any emotion.
Director Jagmohan Mundhra tries to cash in on Govinda’s comic timing, which simply ends up in over-the-top scenes. For instance, from wanting to lose his virginity, Govinda’s character turns into a sex maniac and a complete lunatic. Also, Govinda’s character is prone to sleep walking, which is OK. But when he begins to follow women on the street or gets in bed with random people, the film gets bizarre.
The two songs in the film are counterproductive to the screenplay and force the film into snail’s pace. The editing, which is very abrupt between scenes, leaves a lot to be desired. Cinematography is good. Locations and costumes are apt.
There are also certain peculiarities in the film. For instance, the grandmother in the Himachali family is oddly fluent in Punjabi (a cultural and geographical error). But there are a few scenes that are decidedly funny, such as the one where Govinda is drunk and is talking about camels, elephants, flies and dogs mating. And Sanjay Mishra, with his doctor’s remedies, is hilarious. Alas, they are too few to make any impact.
In short, Naughty @ 40 is a failed attempt at adult comedy.
Performance-wise, Govinda delivers a dominant performance. He’s plays a pessimistic character with ease. Yuvika Chaudhary is irksome. She is supposed to play an immature girl but at times she’s hysterical and acts like a retard. Anupam Kher is good. Shakti Kapoor doesn’t have much to do but emotes eloquently. Sanjay Mishra is amusing and plays his part with panache. The rest of the cast provide adequate support.
Verdict: There’s some hope for this movie in B and C class centers but that’s about it.