Book review of The Good, The Bad and The Silly by Ranjit Kulkarni
The Good, The Bad and The Silly by Ranjit Kulkarni is definitely a silly book of comedy which is not humorous but farcical in nature. It is the kind of book that tickles you to laughter for trivial reasons.
If you are acquainted with Priyadarshan’s comedy movies, like Hungama, Bhagam Bhag and De Dana Dan, you will recall how funny they were, with everyone being simultaneously electrocuted at the same time, or all the characters running behind each other for that one briefcase full of money. It does seem funny at first, but on close inspection, you will realise that there is no humour in it. This is the problem with the mainstream Indian definition of comedy — we cannot distinguish between “slipping on a banana peel” and using political puns in speech. The former is a farce and simple belly-laughter, while the latter is humour.
Humour is meant to convey a message or critique on a particular topic, while farce only “jokes” about petty incidents which have no inherent meaning to it. This is exactly what The Good, The Bad and The Silly is — a silly farce. As far as theme is concerned, there is not a single topic being targeted upon except inciting laughter. The incidents which take place in the plot seem to be inspired from comedy films or shows. At one point, I was frustrated, because the plot lacked any sort of progression of ideas, which thus stagnated the story completely. With no implicit development happening to the characters, the plot altogether became dull; which brings me to my next point, the characters. The cast consists of flat, cardboard characters who are merely the stock figures we come across in typical comedy scripts. Also, the structure. The Good, The Bad and The Silly lacks any sort of plot structure and development. To be precise, the book is devoid of a concrete story in its entirety. It is disillusionment I got when I spent so much time reading this book. I had a lot of high hopes from the plot, because of the blurb. Unfortunately, The Good, The Bad and The Silly did not live up to my expectations.
However, there was one particular aspect of the novel The Good, The Bad and The Silly by Ranjit Kulkarni which I did appreciate — the language. The Good, The Bad and The Silly may have no proper form, but the writing style is commendable. The story has been composed with a relevant vocabulary of words, each of which did match with the prevailing themes of the book. This is the only feature of The Good, The Bad and The Silly which I actually appreciate.
All the best to the author for his upcoming works of fiction.
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Tags: Book review, Satire, laughter, Satire, Satire