Comedy Couple (Zee5)
Starring Saqib Saleem,Shweta Basu Tripathi
Directed by Nachiket Samant
For a film about two stand-up comedians there is very little to laugh about in Comedy Couple. In one sequence in a civil court the hero rebukes his friend for smoking. “Tu court mein aaya hai!”
The doped/drunk/zonked friend replies, ‘Nahin main to shirt mein aaya hoon.’
Elsewhere one havaldar tells another a distasteful joke centering on a pun on the word ‘A-daab’.
I suggest you hold on to these moments. They are funnier than anything that our ‘comedy couple’ does on stage. Saqib Saleem and Shweta Basu Prasad try hard to breathe life into their characters as stand-comedians who share a live-in relationship. Their on-stage jokes are so flat I wondered if the whole stand-up routine is an elaborate gag on self-destruction.
In a recent webseries Four More Shots Please a real-life stand-up comedienne Manvi Gagroo played a stand-up. Her conflict with her partner looked credible. Saqib and Sweta, poor souls, wade through reams of unfunny stand-up material in search of a core of truth to their comic partnership.
Tragically unfunny Comedy Couple is a huge disappointment for all the actors who try to take the comic material seriously. The flat jokes from the stage on how much sex the couple has when they are in the mood, is extended to their real life. Joke No 1: Zoya (Basu Prasad) and Deep( Salim) pretend to be siblings to rent a flat. Joke No.2: Deep’s parents show up at his door when he’s jailed for insulting the Hindu religion during a stand-up act(standup comedian insulting religion, get it?). Joke no 3: are you still here?
I was there, right till the end waiting for the punchline to a joke that never took off. For a film heaving with themes and ideas on live-in relationships, freedom of expression, couple goals in the same profession, moral policing and bowel movements, there’s a sad scarcity of entertainment value in the pale proceedings.
More than exasperating, the problems that Deep and Zoya face (including their manager in shirt with sliced watermelon imprints who likes to take a dump at unearthly hours in strangers’ bathrooms) are simply uninteresting. Sorry, but Zoya and Deep’s problems left me completely unmoved.
Zoya’s elitist mother played by Pooja Bedi likes painting nudes. She’s welcome to do anything she wants as long as we don’t have to watch her trying to entertain herself. We have problems in that area of our own to deal with.