Honestly, I was totally put off by the name. “Sankat City?” I thought to myself, it sounds incredibly depressing and rather gloomy. But the star cast of the film pretty much forced me to get off my couch and walk myself over to the cinema. The likes of Kay Kay Menon, Anupam Kher and Rimi Sen are all a part of Sankat City which is directed by Pankaj Advani of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa fame. The film received little to no publicity and honestly, if you weren’t an avid Menon or Kher fan, this film may have skipped you right by. But it is exactly these artists who are genuinely allowed to say that the film or their role is in fact “different.” And you’d be obliged to believe them courtesy of their lengthy career graphs filled with zara hatke films which may have not done exceptionally well at the box-office but has managed to gain them accolades galore. So Sankat City it is-read on to see if this film really puts the viewer in a Sankat or are you left happy knowing you finally caught something different?
There’s a car thief Guru (Kay Kay Menon) and a garage owner Ganpat (Dilip Prabhawalkar). Then there’s the don Fouzdar (Anupam Kher) who asks his driver to deliver a huge amount of money to a director (Manoj Pahwa) but when the car is stolen by Guru the chaos begins hence putting all the characters in quite a Sankat. Guru is caught and asked to give back the money however the garage owner has now lost his memory after being assaulted putting Guru in an even bigger Sankat. He is then told to find the money and return it or else will be killed. Guru calls upon his old buddy in crime Mona (Rimi Sen) and collectively the duo go through a series of unfortunate and humorous events to get back the money.
The film is simply fantastic. Bravo to Pankaj Advani for writing and directing an intelligently funny film. So tired are we of the usual slapstick nonsensical comedy and Sankat City brings a much needed break from that baloney. The dialogues bare no double meanings and in fact are honestly funny. The only drawback of the film is the dip in pace towards the second half. Besides that, the film is innately funny simply because it is a simple story which is told in an effortless manner. The climax is hilarious and the manner in which it builds up and is presented is even more comical.
The performances back up the strong script and only add to the integrity of the film. Kay Kay Menon has only reassured audiences that he is in fact a superb actor. He takes the confused and yet smart Guru to a different level. His facial expressions are beyond entertaining. Anupam Kher is amazing. The veteran is talent in abundance and if he juts out a killer performance in A Wednesday, he quickly shoots back with this one in Sankat City. Rimi Sen has climbed the ladder in my books with this act of hers — funny and cute, she rocks. The rest of the ensemble is fabulous and are equally as witty.
Sankat City will only work via word-of-mouth unfortunately. If the film was perhaps publicized more, it would created more momentum and curiosity. However, that said, Sankat City is funnily intelligent and entertaining to the end. So to watch or not to watch, that is the question. My take: Watch it! Sankat City is side-splitting funny and will keep you in splits. For all those who have been looking for something different to watch, this is your chance!