Gurkha - An interesting idea diluted by silly jokes!
Director Sam Anton certainly has a strong penchant for parody. This had come through in his earlier works. In Gurkha too he succumbs to this temptation of spoofing popular dialogues and famous personalities. The problem is that the crux of Gurkha isn't a parody but a whacky idea of how a not so intelligent guy who is the butt of jokes manages to pull off a rescue mission. So there is a certain disappointment too see that instead of creating jokes out of the situation you are mostly bombarded with references in the name of comedy.
Gurkha begins on an insipid note and the initial parts are anything but funny. Not sure how many find someone reading a book upside down or saying Gandhi is the father of VTV Ganeshan remotely funny. But these are exactly the kind of scenes that occupy the screen in the initial portions of Gurkha. And you have Ravi Maria hamming it up in these portions. You understand that he has a peculiar way of making you laugh and to be honest he is a distinct personality on screen. But directors either need to rein in his performance or judiciously use him on screen.
The movie becomes much better when it moves on to the hostage crisis scenario. The jokes are relatively better and there is a sense of direction as to where things are heading to. Yogi Babu doesn't actually do much (in the sense that he is sort of relaxed ) but he is a likable personality on screen. But with actors like him and Charlie on screen, the film should have been way more funnier. There are a couple of laugh out loud scenes. One involves the diffusing of a bomb and the other where a character ( a parody of a youtube movie reviewer) remains stonefaced even as people all around are laughing under the influence of laughing gas. I also particularly enjoyed how Sam Anton knows the limitations of his movie and is not scared to have jokes pointing at himself at times. The post credit scene that has a review of this film itself should give an idea of the kind of easy going guy that the director probably is. I also liked how the film made an effort to showcase the 'gurkhas' in good light. However small it is, it is always heartening to see films that make an effort to showcase everyone in good light and refrain from linguistic jingoism.
Gurkha has a perfect premise for a comedy and does have few scenes that light you up. But for the most part it wavers cluelessly as an assortment of silly jokes and lazy references.