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Farhad Dalal
Farhad Dalal
1 Star popcorn reviewss


Onto the next release of the weekend and yes I was warned! But despite all the warnings, I decided to give Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus a chance by venturing in a theatre near me. Right from the time its “Funny” trailer was out, a trailer that did not prompt me to move a single muscle on my face, my red flag for the film was up. While it was an official remake of yesteryear’s superhit film Angoor that in turn was adapted from William Shakespeare’s play The Comedy Of Errors, it still did not exude any confidence from the trailer. I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that my first impression about the trailer was that the proceedings are a hot mess!

But it was Rohit Shetty after all, a man who has earlier delivered 11 Blockbusters and understands the pulse of the audience. Surely he couldn’t go wrong right? The critics had seemed to pan this film left right and centre but keeping my faith in Rohit Shetty, I decided to give Cirkus a chance, going in with the least amount of expectations in the first place. But boy did the film fall even below my bare minimum exceptions. So then is Cirkus worth your time, noy in your wildest dreams and through this roast review I shall tell you why!

Story & Screenplay

An official adaptation of the Hindi film Angoor which was in turn adapted from William Shakespeare’s play The Comedy Of Errors, Cirkus follows the story of two pair of twins who are exchanged at birth, only to be found at the same place leading to confusion. The story had all the ingredients to be a rib-tickling comedy. But the screenplay standing at 140 minutes is such a hot mess that I do not know where to begin. It is so bad that despite me popping a paracetamol before the film, I still had a splitting headache.

The drama opens with one of the character talking about Science. Really now? The topic of Science in a Rohit Shetty film that prompts us to leave our brains at home? After a innocuous start where the two pair of twins are exchanged, the story is divided at two separate venues – Bangalore and Ooty where the two pair of twins grow up after being adopted by two sets of parents. The drama just doesn’t take off at all and even if I were to treat it like a timepass affair, it still was falling behind in that aspect. The gags were unfunny, the proceedings were uninspiring and all this while I was forcing myself to continue with the film in hope that things would improve.

If I had to choose between the two halves, the first half is better than the second. Yes, overall neither work but the first half is bearable with short scenes that do not overstay their welcome. The gags consistently do not land and much is to do with the unfunny and irritating lines penned by co-dialogues writer Farhad Samji(something that I will get to in my next section). I was wondering on how the structure of the screenplay was approved in the first place. Earlier too we have seen films based on confusion and chaos like Hungama or even Rohit Shetty’s All The Best. These films atleast did have a structure to them and wern’t as scattered as this! Also, some of the proceedings are borrowed from each of Rohit Shetty’s previous films too like All The Best or Golmaal. Talk about “adapting” situations from the previous films too!

But it is the second half that is like a mercenary, tactfully finding my brain cells and successfully gunning them down. The writing took ‘slap’stick comedy to a whole new level with people slapping each other while shouting at one another at the top of their voices, all packaged to make you laugh and smile. You on the other hand are slowly sinking in your seat, face palming and tearing whatever little hair you have after the first hour. It was so bad and so irritating that I juat wanted to put a bullet through my head to end my misery. And for my trademark line – I wonder who approved this pile of dogsh*t.

It was torture, pure torture, probably the work of a sadist. There was zero conflict in the screenplay that did result in the final act which was inept and ridiculously bad. Why was the experiment conducted in the first place? What ‘gyaan’ are you giving the audience? Why are the audience still watching the film? I mean even a school skit would be better than this pile of sh*t. And to top it, they did link the Golmaal universe here as well where the protagonists of Golmaal who as kids visit the orphanage. Again why? If in the modern day Golmaal universe, Ranveer and Varun Sharma would be the age of Amitabh Bachchan and so the creative decision just made zero sense, just like the film. Overall, the screenplay is just so bad that the word ‘bad’ would actually be ‘good’. Did that make sense? Oh well, you know what the film has done to me now!

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues deserve a ‘Nariyal’ award for being so unfunny and irritating that it sapped every bit of the energy from me. I wonder how after repeated failures is Farhad Samji getting any work with respect to writing. Once forming a brilliant pair with his brother Sajid, the fall has been so bad that I can’t find any redemption. The jokes are mostly whatsapp forwards and rejigging a once tried and tested formula. Farhad Samji is more like KL Rahul who despite multiple failures is repeatedly awarded that does result in mediocrity. Rather, we have passed mediocrity as well, this is rock bottom and digging deeper!

The music is decent with Current Laga song(yes, audience ko bhi laga😡) being the standout. The cinematography is good but the colour grading is on steroids. It almost seemed like the makers took a set of Sanjay Leela Bhansali on rent and painted it with the brightest colours available. My eyes were getting tired with the bright colours which made me believe that the colour grading was on bl**dy steroids! What a brainless creative decision!

Director Rohit Shetty, the man behind 11 blockbusters has missed the mark here. I have seen so many publications writing him off as Arrogant. I would refrain from this because the man has delivered earlier and a one off failure shouldn’t be a reason enough to write him off. I still believe in him and he will bounce back soon! But yes, the direction was very bad here, almost ridiculous with the execution.


The performances by the entire cast is insipid and ridiculously over the top. If the comic timing is missed out on by even some of the legends then it is a problem. It is only Sanjay Mishra as Bindu’s father who does make a case for himself even though he isn’t able to land all his jokes. Yet, it is his brilliance coupled with improvization that made me believe that the man was enjoying himself out there. It did result in a few moments of laughter. Anil Charanjeett as Prem also contributes well here. Johnny Lever is wasted and like my friend Vishesh said, if he doesn’t make me laugh then I know it spells doom for the film. Siddharth Jadhav as Momo overacts and I felt like throwing Chingg’s Schezwan chutney(purposely changing the name😁) on him to stop him from further damage. Vrajesh Hirjee has the ‘Naag’ reference but never really comes to the party. Mukesh Tiwari is alright.

Murli Sharma was irritating, frequently breaking the fourth wall even with such a basic plot. I was unsure if the makers did trust the intelligence of the audience. I wouldn’t blame them as a brain fade moment prompted a few like me to visit the theatre. Jacqualine Fernandez as Bindu is another case of a person being given repeated chances. And yet another poor act by her to say the least. Pooja Hegde as Mala is also ridiculously bad and just doesn’t exude any confidence. Varun Sharma plays the same character all over again! You could have named his character Chucha as opposed to Joy and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It is time Varun steps out of his comfort zone. His dialogue delivery is flat as well.

And I never thought I would say this! But this is Ranveer Singh’s worst performance to date! The man was unusually dull here and the only time he was switched on was in the Dance number with Deepika. His jokes did not land and I wonder if he was disinterested in the film in the first place? Also, was it just me or did anyone else think he sounded like Kapil Dev from 83 in the film for one of the two characters?


Cirkus is highly recommended….to be skipped! A relentless drama that did not spare even one of my brain cells! The film sums up the substandard year of the Hindi Film Industry but here is hoping that they pick themselves up soon and put this disaster beyond them! Available in a theatre near you!

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