Movie Review: Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami

In life, they never realized the value of their father and his honest approach. In death, the sons are stunned when they see the love pouring in for their dead father, and the praises they hear for his honesty.

But the funny part is, when alive, Purshottam Narayan Joshi (Anupam Kher) a worker with the BMC never got his due. Whenever it was his time to receive his reward, an unfortunate incident happened. Be it in school, or during his marriage or even when he was retiring.

But his sons vow to give him the 21-gun salute he asks for and the honour he deserves in death.

Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami is a satire on everyday life, honesty in particular and politics and politicians in general.

Debutant director Ravindra Gautam takes the viewer on a ‘Mumbai darshan’ in the first few scenes, right from Churchgate to Naigaon and back as the two sons begin their task of giving a 21-gun-salute to their dead father.

The crowded railway station, the moving train and the throwing off of the blue plastic bag when the train approaches Naigaon are well-crafted and full of ingenuity. Even the scene when the two sons get into a Churchgate-bound moving train with an altercation at the footboard is applause worthy. It’s a tribute to the ‘Mumbai life’. Of special interest to me was the way the entire scene was treated. It smelt of suburban sweat!

Gautam has also captured the chawl where Purshottam and his family live and their bonhomie with their neighbours, with detailed fondness. He has even captured the essence of Bollywood in the song Yu na dekh gur gur ke, picturised with the gorgeous Neha Dhupia taking one down memory lane: from Bobby to Sholay to Dayavan to Khalnayak, to what have you. A visual delight! Neha not only rocks in this song, but also in her role as the ‘woman’ in the CM’s life.

Coming back to the plot, Purshottam manages to make his sons [who have always been against his views] realize the meaning of honesty and hard work. Subhash (Divyendu Sharma) and Shekhar (Manu Rishi Chadha) who play the sons bring out the best of the common man. Their characters bring alive the plot along with Anupam Kher who wears his heart on his sleeve as the honest BMC employee fumigating the city for the past 27 years without even once taking a day off.

Lending support are Aditi Sharma as Tanya Shrivastav who works with the Chief Minister and who also plays Subhash’s love interest and Supriya Kumari who is cast as Purshottam’s eldest daughter-in-law. Aditi who last vowed the audience in Mausam is back to enchanting with her performance.

Rajesh Sharma as the Chief Minister and Uttara Borkar as his mother add that zing to the tale.

The political scenario at the CM’s death is hilarious. ETKS makes you laugh and cry and the same time. Watch the scene when ‘Madam’ arrives.

So are there weak points in the plot? Many. The movie does get prolonged and feels overdone when the sequences could have been smartly handled. The long-drawn gutter scene leading to the CM’s house and the ones with the dead body are overdone.

But that can be easily forgiven because there is plenty in the plot to keep you amused and entertained.

Methinks, ETKS should be made tax free and more shows should be awarded at multiplexes.

This s a film for the common man! A 21-gun salute to the entire team of ETKS!

Rating: 3 / 5

Martin D’Souza

This first appeared on on October 10, 2014


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