If you enjoy Rohit Shetty films, then you will enjoy All the Best: Fun Begins. It’s a leisurely paced comedy with no big laugh-out-loud moments but there are no dull patches, either. All the Best is a comedy of mild amusement with a couple of really fun song picturizations thrown in for good measure. Packed with familiar faces and all the bright colors and sunshine of Goa, All the Best is a cheerful and clean family comedy.
The plot is an exercise in that old chestnut of mixed-up identity. Ajay Devgan and Fardeen Khan play a couple of best friends – Prem and Veer – who are constantly getting into trouble because of Prem’s ridiculous schemes. They run a foul of a gangster who has watched Karz one too many times (Johnny Lever) and through a large number of misunderstandings end up trying to convince Veer’s older brother (Sanjay Dutt) that Prem’s wife Jhanvi (Bipasha Basu) is really Veer’s wife and that all the people after them for money are mental patients.
While the plot is predictable, twists and turns are never really the strong suit of a Rohit Shetty film. What makes All the Best fun to watch are the individual scenes – however tenuously connected together they are. From Prem and Veer’s ill-advised decision to try auto racing, enter a band competition, and take a pilgrimage to a holy site, the film pleasantly drifts from place to place and carries the viewer along for the ride.
Ajay Devgn and Bipasha Basu do a wonderful job anchoring the ensemble cast. Ajay never quite scales the comic heights that he reached when egged on by Shreyas Talpade in Golmaal Returns, but Fardeen Khan is a good enough foil. Bipasha looks luminous on screen and her expressive eyes do a lot to establish some very nice chemistry between herself and Ajay. Sanjay Dutt menaces the screen in a satisfying fashion, but Mugdha Godhse is overlooked amidst the other, bigger, talent on-screen. She has a pretty face but is lost in the action. The cast of comedic bit players is large and they all do their parts well. In particular, Rohit Shetty staple Ashish R. Mohan as the boys’ pompous rival in everything and the delightful Ashwini Kalseka as faithful maid Mary are hilarious. Johnny Leveralso gets a special mention for his bug-eyed portrayal of the gangster Tobu, who can only communicate by tapping a spoon on a glass – just like Sir Judah in Karz.
The soundtrack by Pritam works better with the film than it did alone. The carnivale-themed opening number, ‘All the Best’, starts things off with a bang and ‘Dil Kare Jo Bhi’ which comes about halfway through, is the other standout and should have your feet tapping and shoulders bopping.
All the Best: Fun Begins certainly isn’t the most original or insanely hilarious film you will ever see but it is a fun and cheerful comedy and, sometimes, that is all you need.