One Two Three has a storyline that could have been developed into a laugh riot. Alas, unimaginative and unskilled handling of the subject by director Ashwani Dhir makes it nothing more than an average, dull comedy.

The movie’s plot is pregnant with possibilities of truly humourous situations. But the script-writer and director have not been able to turn the possibilities into reality. Reason? The immature and imbecilic gags fail to rise to the requirement of the comic situations in the movie. Barring a few funny scenes, the jokes in the movie are either outdated or poorly conceived, hence non-functional.
Coupled with this is Ashwani Dhir’s slipshod direction, his poor handling of the characters, and his inability to extract performances from his cast. Not that a share of blame does not go to the cast. But we will come to that later.

On paper, the story of ‘One Two Three’ sounds quite appealing for a comedy film.

Three men with the same name go to a hotel at the same time. The first Laxmi Narayan ( Tusshar Kapoor ) is a wannabe don who wants to prove his killer instinct by bumping off a dreaded gangster called Papa (Mukesh Tiwari) at hotel Blue Diamond.

The second Laxmi Narayan ( Sunil Shetty ) is a seedha saadha, gutless and guileless fellow who comes to the same hotel to buy a vintage car for his boss from a showroom where a sexy sales executive Laila ( Sameera Reddy ) works.

The third Laxmi Narayan ( Paresh Rawal ) is an undergarment seller who comes to hotel to take samples of lingerie from designer Jiya ( Esha Deol ).

To this melee of characters add two youths ( Upen Patel and Tanishaa ) who inexplicably keep flitting in and out of the camera frames. There is also a tough police officer Mayavati Chautala ( Neetu Chandra ) who is out to nab the lawbreakers.

And because a comedy film nowadays seems to be incomplete without a bunch of stolen diamonds, we have that angle too in ‘One Two Three’.

You see! There is a great scope of comedy in the film’s plot. But the opportunity is missed – rather messed up – because the script-writer could not come up with gags and oneliners funny enough. On top of it, the director is not able to build up the momentum and add vim and vigour that a comedy requires. The overlong commentary introducing the characters at the beginning of the film itself tends to get monotonous after a few minutes.

And the characters themselves (for instance, the rival dons, Manoj Pahwa and Mukesh Tiwari) border on caricature. Granted that ‘One Two Three’ is a no-brainer, but even the slapstick buffoonery ought to be hilarious.

The only saving grace of the film is Tusshar Kapoor, who manages to rise above the mediocre script and stand on his own. Paresh Rawal is not used to the optimum. Sunil Shetty keeps oscillating between a few select facial expressions. Esha Deol is just about okay. Sameera Reddy adds the oomph quotient. Neetu Chandra hams with no holds barred. Tanishaa and Upen Patel have insubstantial roles. Sanjay Mishra, as the don Papa’s henchman, does a nice mimicry of yesteryear actor Jeevan.

It is hard to believe that ‘One Two Three’ is a film directed by the same man who gave us the immensely enjoyable serial ‘Office Office’ on television. The movie doesn’t have even half the amount of wit that we saw in the sarcastically humorous teleserial.