fbpx

Review: Namaste Wahala (Netflix)

This ambitious Bollywood-Nollywood crossover film doesn't quite hit the mark, writes VINAYAK CHAKRAVORTY.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

We aren’t in a Bollywood movie, Indian boy tells Nigerian girl in Namaste Wahala. For their sake you wish they were, their love story would be far more exciting.

AT A GLANCE

  • Starring: Ruslaan Mumtaz, Ini Dima-Okojie, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Joke Silva, Sujata Sehgal, Ibrahim Suleiman, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja
  • Directed by: Hamisha Daryani Ahuja
  • Rating: * * (two stars)

Namaste Wahala harks back to the way Bollywood doesn’t make love stories anymore. You have a boy and a girl in love. You have a fuming parent on either side who does not approve of the match. Throw in some ‘thanda naach-gaana’, tired rom-com, zero chemistry plus random melodrama, and what you get is 106 minutes of poorly cooked masala potboiler that’s too amateurish to regale.

For the record, the film is an Indo-Nigerian attempt. So, the Bollywood-Nollywood crossover mush is naturally pitched as a USP. It all ends up in a mess.

Writer-director Hamisha Daryani Ahuja casts Bollywood actor Ruslaan Mumtaz as Raj, an investment banker in Lagos, Nigeria. He bumps into social worker Didi (Nollywood actress Ini Dima-Okojie) on the beach during an early morning jog, and it is love at first sight for both.

One love song later, it is time for Didi to introduce Raj to her parents. Of course, Didi’s father (Richard Mofe-Damijo) has a nice Nigerian boy (Ibrahim Suleiman) tucked away for her in his office. He is about to unleash the vintage Amrish Puri brand of rage as Raj goes for the good old ‘paye lagoo’ drill.

READ ALSO: Review: The White Tiger

Namaste Wahala movie still
Source: Twitter

Didi has similar fate in store when Raj’s very Punjabi mamma (Sujata Segal) comes calling. She is a fullblown Kirron Kher parody, grumbling over how thin Raj has become living alone, asserting that she’ll feed him “nice butter chicken” so he’ll become “nice and fat” again. Her retort, as Didi tries to fall comically at her feet on their first meeting, is supposed to add to the comedy — she asks Raj if Didi can prepare chhole bhature.

At times, a bad formula film becomes inadvertently funny for the very cliches it tries to hawk. The problem with Namaste Wahala is even cliche-ridden bad formula films in the Bollywood rom-com genre went past expiry date quite some time ago.

For the sake of authenticity, writer-director Ahuja maintains a mix of English, Hindi and local Nigerian lingo. You sense a lack of coherence in the overall mood the dialogues try to establish, just as the screen-writing (Diche Enuwa and Temitope Bolade-Akinbode) struggles to craft engaging storytelling. This, in turn, affects the performances as the cast strives to get over poorly-penned roles.

Namaste Wahala broadly translates to ‘Hello trouble’. For the sake of an interesting watch, we wish we could spot a speck of trouble somewhere in this story.

Vinayak Chakravorty, IANS

READ ALSO: Review: Tribhanga

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

0
  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

0
  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

murugappan family home to bilo

Confirmed: Murugappan family are going #HomeToBilo

0
  Interim Minister for Home Affairs Jim Chalmers has intervened in the immigration case of the Murugappan family to allow them to return to Biloela. Exercising...
tomb of sand booker prize

‘Tomb of Sand’ becomes first Hindi novel to win Booker Prize

0
  Geetanjali Shree’s Ret Samadhi, translated to English by Daisy Rockwell as Tomb of Sand, is the winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize. It...
Baljeet Kaur mountaineer

Baljeet Kaur, an Indian mountaineer, sets a record by summiting four...

0
  On Sunday, Baljeet Kaur, a 27-year-old woman set a record and became the only Indian mountaineer to scale four 8000m peaks in less than...
new normal still isha and appu

REVIEW: New Normal

0
  A pivotal conversation that surrounds LGBTQIA+ discourse is the need to normalise queer relationships, as that is what they are — normal. In late April,...

India, Australia review cooperation under Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

0
  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday reviewed the multi-dimensional cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Cooperation under the partnership...