To adapt Bard's The Comedy of Errors, Rohit Shetty encroaches on Vishal Bhardwaj's turf.
Shakespeare's play about two sets of twins entangled in a misunderstanding has been adapted to film multiple times, with Gulzar's Angoor being the most notable of these versions.
When compared to Angoor, Cirkus pales in comparison. Angoor khatte hain, more like.
Shetty's formulaic entertainers all look, behave, and sound the same: they are overpopulated, over the top, extra bright, and super loud animals that are pleased to laugh the loudest at their own jokes.
The circus is everything it's made out to be, and much more.
Here's a guy squishing his fingers together and moaning, "Darwaza khula rakhna kyonki mein doorbell bajane layak nahi raha."
Gulzar's rhythmic humour and the varied cast, lead by Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma, made the comedic miscommunications and accidental encounters that occur in a small, tightly knit community a joy to watch unfold on stage in The Comedy of Errors.
Shetty has clearly seen Angoor, but I have no idea if he read Shakespeare before finalising the script. If he did, he obviously misunderstood the title.
Shetty's vast style is unable to understand the revolving door pattern of its chaotic humour, instead opting to concentrate on superficial distractions and laborious messaging.
Cirkus is set in the 1960s, which prevents technology from being a distraction and allows the director enough of room to go all out with the era's aesthetic.
Shetty may see the world as a shiny, newly-painted tin box, but to Shakespeare, all the world's a theatre.
A warning to anyone with a low tolerance for bright colours: the screen will be splashed with the most garish hues imaginable, including those associated with sweets and kitsch.
The visual explosion of old automobiles, trains, trams, hotels with brown bricks and employees in uniforms from "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and walks and promenades covered with flowers of every colour is something that must be experienced to be believed.
Nevertheless, despite all its flash and glamour, the circus itself is just a background element.
Shetty could have called it Post Office and no one would have cared, given that it lacks any sort of stunts or spectacle. In addition, the time period provides no background information.
It's pointless tossing out references to movies like Bhoot Bangla, Johnny Mera Naam, Prince, and Haath Ki Safai without turning them into a joke.
Before diving headfirst into its fake 1960s setting, Cirkus flashes back to the mid-1940s, when Roy (Murali Sharma) and Joy (Uday Tikekar), the creators of the Golmaal franchise, switch twins as an experiment to prove parvarish is mightier than khoon.
The identical twins are given the names Roy and Joy by their adoptive parents. We'll refer to Ranveer Singh's Roy and Varun Sharma's Joy in Ooty as Roy and Joy, and to Singh and Sharma as Roy and Joy in Bangalore as Roy and Joy.
The first Roy possesses a unique ability.
He can handle high-voltage wires with his bare hands in the family circus since he is not affected by them.
Everyone in Ooty knows him as Electric Man.
Pooja Hegde, his supposedly best-selling author wife, once said, "Main maa nahi ban sakti" (I regret not killing my mother).
Although she strongly encourages it, Roy 1 refuses to adopt since he considers khoon to be more powerful than parvarish.
Roy No. 2 manages the family business and spends his spare time reading pulp fiction.
His fiancee Jacqueline Fernandez is very supportive, but her affluent, snooty dummy father Sanjay Mishra (who sounds like Dev Anand parodying Dev Anand) is convinced that he is not a good choice to be his future son-in-law.
Trouble starts when he and Roy 2 and Joy 2 go to Ooty, where a gang of thieves led by Siddhartha Jadhav, their gangster idol Johnny Lever, a gun-wielding aunt (Sulbha Arya), a snake-tattooed cab driver (Vrajesh Hirjee), an Urdu poem-reciting jewellery designer (Brijendra Kala), and a former dacoit-turned-
Lazy writing with only two running gags in its stock of broad comedy doesn't help the boredom of Shetty regulars doing their vocabulary-challenged rage and rant routine in ludicrous wigs and garish costumes.
Someone or something is electrified. Someone is slapped.
Even when they run out of new jokes, Sanjay Mishra, Siddhartha Jadhav, and Johnny Lever remain dedicated to making their five-year-old audience happy.
Murali Sharma tries to prove that humanity is more important than heritage by breaking the fourth wall, but he is no Kader Khan.
Mistakes, not boredom, are where the laughs are in Cirkus.
The siblings Joy 1 and 2 are written as supporting characters for Roy 1 and 2.
In Angoor, in the home of Deven Varma, bhaang was served. In Cirkus, not even a biscuit is spared for Varun.
Only the camera sees any colour.
The two leads are the wrong hue.
Ranveer Singh was given the middle name "energy" since he had so much of it. But in Cirkus, he acts more like a bored school clown.
He has almost no comedic timing or emotional response to anything, and yet he portrays both Roys like a robotic one-eyed monster. When he crashes someone else's party, even the normally upbeat Varun Sharma looks like he got in trouble with mom.
Both Ranveer and Varun seem completely uninterested in one another. Alternatively, Ranveer and the ladies that fancy him.
When it comes to romance, Deepika Padukone displays more attitude in one item song than Pooja Hedge and Jacqueline Fernandez do in the whole film.
It all started in 1982 when Moushumi Chatterjee and Deepti Naval exchanged harsh words. Arm candy has returned in the year 2022.