After months of pre-release hype and promotion, 'Rascals' has finally hit the screens while carrying with it good expectations. Well, as it turns out, even though the film isn't as mad as a 'Deewana Mastana' (the basic plot is similar - two guys trying to woo one girl and in the process outwit each other), it is still far-far better than 'Do Knot Disturb' or, for argument's sake, 'Hum Tum Shabana' that had recently released and was again based on a similar plot.
For Sanjay and Ajay, two conmen, it is love (or shall we say lust?) at first sight when they come across Kangna. While they try hard to woo her, they also battle it out with each other to so that 'the best man' wins. However there is also trouble in the form of Arjun Rampal, a gangster, whom was once conned by the duo and now wants his money back.
Yes, the key word here is 'episode' because this is how the film basically operates. One minute you are on the beach, 10 minutes later you are in a bedroom, next episode is set in a Navy ballroom, moments later it is an airport setting and then out of a sudden there are Santa Clauses arriving out of nowhere. So whether it is about Ajay being conned at the airport, the entire blind marathon sequence, the one where Sanjay is locked up in jail to the Lisa Haydon comeback on the scene - you are thoroughly entertained.
On the other hand there are a few sequences where you feel that an episode has just turned out to be a speed breaker instead of taking the narrative forward. The bank robbery in the second half starts off well but then fizzles out towards its culmination. Frequent groping of Kangna by Ajay and Sanjay becomes a put off after a while whereas the Chunky Pandey episode (which starts off well) doesn't quite maintain a good momentum.
This is the reason why the first half of the film passes by in a jiffy. The entire first half is so fast paced and mostly funny that you don't even realise it is interval point till it is actually announced. Ironically it is this very moment which is the lowest point in the film since the entire spoof on 'Saajan', 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai' and 'Vaastav' is not just forced into the proceedings but also ends up breaking the momentum. Frankly, a much better scene could have elevated expectations from the second half by a far greater degree.
Also, there is a slight trouble in the latter part of the second half, especially the Satish Kaushik episode in a Church. Even the twist that comes a while later, the one where Arjun returns on the scene and the revelation that takes place, is something that you saw coming from the beginning of the film itself. Nevertheless, all is forgotten when tables are turned all over again. The double twist is what brings the film on track in a big way and smiles are back all over again.
Ajay and Sanjay are effortless in their act in front of the camera and are seemingly relaxed as they have fun in real life as well while shooting at a Five Star hotel in Thailand (where 80% of the film has been set). On the other hand Kangna is actually quite expressive in her comic act and is far better than what she had done in 'No Problem'. Lisa does reasonably well while exuding oomph in practically every scene where she appears.
With a (thin) plot setting like 'Rascals', there are always chances of a film to either become a zany madcap comedy or fall flat on it's face due to lack of cohesiveness. Thankfully this is where David Dhawan brings his three decade of Bollywood experience by ensuring that there is a Manomhan Desai treatment to the film; the kind that ensures that audience doesn't get time to think at all and just moves on to expect something better from the next episode if the earlier one wasn't too enticing.