A man called Chuttan Shukla is the narrator of this movie. The first name better suits a character in a comedy that plays on double meanings, but ‘Kissebaaz’ happens to be a gangster film, set in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh.
Chuttan (Pankaj Tripathi) mocks the lady officer who has arrested him, saying that she’s got the wrong man. The police van she is escorting him in is stranded on the highway, with punctures in both tyres. So they sit on a ‘charpoy’ at a roadside ‘dhaba’ and he tells her the ‘real’ story, from his perspective, with huge dollops of embellishment thrown in.
It is a convoluted tale of criminals and politicians - the nomenclature being interchangeable in UP - who use their gangs to knock each other’s nearest and dearest off, and then wait anxiously for the revenge drama to begin. It seems to be a ritual they engage in every year, with fresh methods of conclusive termination introduced annually. Chuttan says that his role was to cleverly manipulate the scenario by setting one gang against the other.
‘Kissebaaz’ is such a shoddily made gangster film that the actors don’t even play dead convincingly. Their death timing is so bad that when they are supposed to be shot, they often react too early, and, on occasions, too late. Frequently, their facial expression on receiving a bullet in the gut or head is the surprised look of a person who has just swallowed the gum he is chewing. It is hilarious.
Clearly, this is also a case of exceedingly poor shot taking and editing, which points to a B grade production team working on the film. The only aspect that redeems the technical unit are a few lovely panoramic shots of Varanasi, in daylight and in the evening.
The mystery in the movie is a young man called Harsh, who is often mistaken as the sinister Ram Lal (Rahul Bagga). He claims to be innocent, and says he is just an ordinary fellow engaged to be married to a girl called Naina (Anupriya Goenka). The script is so poorly written, and the explanations are so vague, that it is possible to watch ‘Kissebaaz’ in its entirety, and still not figure out the how and why of the mistaken identity.
In short, ‘Kissebaaz’ is a near impossible watch, and it is recommended that you avoid it.