At the Mumbai premiere of Sorry Daddy, during the interval, someone congratulated the film’s hero Shameem Khan: “Kya entry thi (What an entry)!” It quite sums up the old-fashioned outlook of the makers, and a segment of the audience, towards cinema. Where the film is not a sum of its parts but has to be savoured for the “paisa vasool (money’s worth)”offered by the individual bits and pieces—the entries and exits, a song here, the fight scene there; the climax or that comic sequence.
Sorry Daddy is a veritable blast from the past, delectably and naively outdated. Right from the over-the-top, school-play level histrionics of the actors (especially those playing drunk) to the glycerine tears messing up the pancake makeup of the actresses; from veteran Raza Murad’s thundering voiceover about kids and lost childhood to the heavy-dutydialoguebaazi. Which other film would offer you the pleasure to hear a gem like: “Sharam ko sharab ke saath ghol ke pi jaana (Mixing shame with liquor and drinking it)? It’s only in Sorry Daddy that a woman announces her pregnancy to her husband with literary prose like: “Aapke wajood ka ansh jo mere wajood se jud gaya hai (A piece of your existence has united with a part of mine).”
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There’s sheer randomness to the narrative, in fact the film is nothing more than a series of arbitrary scenes strung together. So you find a villain like Daddan (Mukesh Tiwari), helming a spurious liquor business, who just disappears after a few scenes. A Raghuvir Yadav suddenly springs up from nowhere, cringingly over-emoting to a song. An ode to villain Jeevan is slipped in just like that. Then you have an inane comic scene with someone called Ashok Lambretta (Razzak Khan) against the backdrop of a mansion with a pool full of bikini-clad women (one-piece bikini mind you, we are bashful like that).
If this isn’t enough to sell the film to you there’s also a villain’s den (a cross between Gabbar’s boulders and caves and the elaborate, fancy lairs of the Bond baddies) where a small scale industry flourishes—that of turning kids into beggars with some severed limbs flying around (no our Censor Board doesn’t seem to mind such gore). In the name of plot you have widower cop Ravi (Shameem Khan), who is much in love with his daughter Anishka, fighting crime of all kinds especially the beggars’ syndicate. Incidentally, he also sports facial expressions you could die for. Sorry Daddy, in its tawdriness, feels like a marginally improved version of the Malegaon video films. A film that doesn’t intend to but ends up making you laugh out loud. And it also makes you wonder why the title is what it is. Why not Thank You Daddy?