This is yet another movie on the fragile sense of manhood of the Indian male. The difference in ‘Poster Boys’ is that apart from being a comedy with an unending series of jokes and puns on a man’s sexual potency, this film might well run down the notion of male sterilisation as an effective method of family welfare and contraception. That would leave women to go in for sterilisation, on the insistence of their men, despite it being a more complicated medical procedure.
As it is, the forced sterilisation campaign during the Emergency permanently blighted the image of this relatively simple method of family planning for men. With Poster Boys, a movie about how a dreadful mix-up has the pictures of three men photoshopped onto a poster that advocates the merits of nasbandi, it is as if the makers of this film are anticipating the end of the road for male sterilisation.
A series of uncannily similar events connects three men from a village. Jaagavar Chowdhury (Sunny Deol), retired from the army, is about to get his sister married when the groom’s family unexpectedly cancels the wedding. School Master Vinay Sharma (Bobby Deol), a hesitant and under confident man perpetually harangued by his wife, is left with his two daughters when she walks out of the house. Though she has done this before, this time there appears to be no apparent cause. The third victim, Arjun Singh (Shreyas Talpade), a ‘recovery specialist’ for a credit card company, better described as a goon with two henchmen, has his marriage proposal refused, even though he once thought that its happy acceptance was a matter of course.
By the time the men discover the reason for their infamy, and find out about how their photos have been cut and pasted on a family welfare poster campaign of the Government, their social status has been dramatically altered. Unfortunately, the difference in the conditions of virility and sterility is never adequately explained in this comedy, and so all the ribald humour that these poor benighted men are subjected to by their uncouth fellows, is about how nasbandi has made them impotent. Evidently, both the mockers and the victims are more fixated with performance anxiety, than they are with reproductive health.
Poster Boys is a trite film that barely gets half a dozen laughs. What is surprising is the acceptance, by Sunny and Bobby Deol, of such singularly unremarkable roles, in a film with such low production values. Basically, they are just playing village bumpkins caught in an embarrassing mix up, a formula that will never boost their star image or showcase their acting prowess. It would be wise to give this movie a miss.