Apart from a rather sad and overdone vulgar joke on the surname 'Jha', 'C Kkompany' steers clear of turning the comedy into full-fledged farce.
This is the down market 'Munnabhai' of the year. It tells us, it is okay to be a loser as long as your heart is in the right place. The bank balance stands a chance of being enhanced by hook or by crook provided you can get the formula for converting the zero in your life to some zeroes in your cheques.
Unlike the avalanche of films with a trio of male protagonists from 'Masti' to 'Dhol' to 'Golmaal', this one isn't about three jobless youngsters ogling up skirts and barking up the wrong trees.
The interesting mix of three generation of heroes played by Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav and Tusshar Kapoor, brings a span of social comment into the plot.
If Anupam (suitably wizened) is badgered by his rather innocuously ungrateful son and daughter-in-law, Rajpal is hounded by the pathos of being not tall enough to compete with the Bachchans of the world.
In fact, the film's most touching moment ensues when Rajpal masquerading as a bird in a mall is confronted by his bitter wife and son. That moment defines the whole theme of working class mores as defined by the cult of globalisation and materialism and the ensuing guilt of the collective middle class as the attitude of anything-goes qualifies the way we mould our morality.
The idea of three losers forming a company to extort a positive morality out of subverted system of governance is not new.
'C Kkompany' gets it right on the plot level. However, the execution gets cumbersome with an excess of gags and episodes that run from the ridiculous to the mundane.
The most interesting character is that of the comic gangster Dattu Satellite, who loves Ekta Kapoor's serials. Dattu's ring tone is the signature tune of 'Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Tthi'. And because the film is produced by TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor's company (Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd), whole battery of Balaji actors troop in and out. The home-viewing treat becomes a casualty of overkill.
'Plotshots' are taken at Ekta. She sportingly allows herself to be bullied by Mithun Chakraborty's character in her own office.
Also endearing is the sublimation of extortion and gangsterism as odes to philanthropy. One by one the episodes of this homage to Ram Gopal Varma's underworld concoction move from the three losers to the wider good of society at large.
The narration loses its way in the journey. And 'C Kkompany' ends up being neither here nor there. Just an interesting idea gone astray.
The performances tend to blend into the fabric of giggly gangsterism. The trio of 'heroes' get into their roles with the opposite of gusto. Mithun goes over-the-top with the much relish.
What makes us giggle are the digs at Ekta Kapoor's saas-bahu serials and actors. But they cannot sustain two hours of comment on the quirks and mores of the middle class. Maybe this film had its heart at the right place. But the vision just doesn't match up.