Yamla Pagla Deewana


A huge lassi glass sized disappointment…

Pic: Yamla Pagla Deewana; source: Wikipedia

With Samir Karnik’s Yamla Pagla Deewana, I expected a ‘Balle Balle’ entertainer but got a lame film, which in Punjabi terms can only be compared to cold and soggy Chhole Bhature. The film tries hard to cash on the three Deols coming together, which by the way managed to get the audience inside the theatres. However, spoofing their old films and over-acting does not help if the rest of the script is disastrous. The first half of the film is unbearably bad and a friend of mine fell asleep 15-minutes into the film and left the theatre before the interval. Here’s my appeal to the makers, issued in public interest…

Dear Samir Karnik, Please think hard before you make another film and kindly acquire a very good script. Otherwise, we are not going to say ‘Kyun! Ho Gaya Na’, once again.

Dear Dharmendra ji, Please take roles that suit your stature and age. We would like to remember you for movies like Sholay, Aankhen, Chupke Chupke, amongst others and not for doing a sleazy number called ‘Tinku Jiya’ in a film like Yamla Pagla Deewana. Do roles like you did in Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Johhny Gaddar’; it was small yet impactful.

Dear Sunny paaji, You were the only good thing about this film but your sincere efforts sadly could not save it. Your Matrix meets Ghajini meets Gadar action sequences were good fun and of course your ‘Jatt risky after baalti whisky’ type lines. We’d love to see you back on screen but do choose your films wisely.

Dear Bobby, Why were you setting the world record for over-acting in this film? You knew you were not in a school play then why stress on your lines the way you are supposed to in the annual day stage performances. I can only compare this act of yours with Fardeen Khan’s in ‘No Entry’. And no, that wasn’t funny either. Thought about collaborating with Abbas-Mastan again?

Dear Kulraj Randhawa, You looked good and even tried to do a Kareena Kapoor ‘Jab We Met’ act in the film. Sadly, your character, Saheba’s cousin in the film, Poli (Sucheta Khanna) had a better written role as a ‘Caneda’ obsessed girl from Patiala. Thank the makers for the launch and look for better roles.

Dear Nafisa Ali, Well tried, but it’s a little difficult to displace Kirron Kher from the Punjabi mother characters… You looked the part but a bit too polished; not your fault and would love to see you again but in more urban characters.

Dear Emma Brown Garett, It was nice to hear you swear in Punjabi and your pairing with Sunny Deol was hilarious. Now look forward to your act in Rohan Sippy’s ‘Dum Maro Dum’. However, please be careful and don’t allow Bollywood to reduce you to the neighbor / party guest roles in films that get shot in Filmcity and pass off as Canada.

Dear Anupam Kher, I do not know about your supporting brigade of Mukul Dev and Himanshu Malik (of 17 kisses with Mallika fame), but you certainly deserve better.

Dear Music Directors (Anu Malik, RDB, Nouman Javaid, Sandesh Shandilya, Rahul B. Seth), The only good song in the album is the title track that too is a remixed version of a hit song. I still prefer the original ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ (Laxmikant Pyarelal) than this version. What’s with the slow Bhangra number and the pedestrian ‘Tinku Jiya’? Please refer to Singh Is King’s rocking soundtrack that made everyone in the theatre feel like dancing.

Dear fellow film buffs, Watch Yamla Paglaa Deewana if you must but please do not expect anything funnier than what you’ve already seen in the promos.

My rating: * ½ One and a half star on five

– Shrey Khetarpal




Lost in search of perfection

Guzaarish; Pic: SLB Films, UTVMP

When the promos of Guzaarish first came out, everyone expected it to be in the league of director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s last film, Saawariya, which sank at the box office. The reason for the comparison was the whole gloomy look and feel that the director created for the new film despite the last one giving the audience blues (literally). If Saawariya was blue-green, Guzaarish is red and black… each frame of the film is highly stylised and put together with artistic finesse. Each image can be exhibited in a gallery as art; however, these frames together fail to ignite the magic that Bhansali’s earlier works created (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Black). While most disliked the film, I liked Saawariya for what it was, a moody musical and closer to a play than a film. Guzaarish once again falls in the same category and doesn’t hold together as a film as it could have. How I wish, the perfectionist filmmaker obsessed a little less with the way his film looks as little imperfections make things a bit more real.

Guzaarish tells the story of Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan), a renowned magician who gets confined to a wheel-chair after an accident during one of his acts turns him into a paraplegic. Despite his condition, Ethan leads a dignified life running a radio programme on how life is so beautiful and being a role model for many. One fine day he decides to say adieu and files a petition for euthanasia or mercy-killing to end his suffering. His decision puts a question on another person’s life that revolves around him, Sofia D’Souza (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), his nurse and caretaker for the last twelve years. Sofia’s life has only one motive, which is to look after her master/patient/object of affection, Ethan and with him that may also disappear.

The film mainly revolves around Ethan and Hrithik has done a good job of creating a character who is eccentric, genius, funny, bitter and romantic in equal parts. However, there is one thing that is missing that makes a lot of difference to the film… you are unable to connect emotionally with Ethan the way you did with Michelle in Black or Rizwan in My Name is Khan. In fact, you feel more for Sofia which says a lot about the character and the way Aishwarya has portrayed it. Aishwarya emotes well and says a lot through her expressions without many dialogues; only her loud costumes distract (Sabyasachi). This is one of her best performances and I am beginning to feel that roles that require her to speak less and emote more, suit her better; case in point, Guru and Jodhaa Akbar. There is an interesting supporting cast in the film that completes the picture – Shernaz Patel as Devyani Dutta, Ethan’s lawyer is good and so is Rajit Kapoor as the public prosecutor; Aditya Roy Kapoor as an aspiring magician is as impressive or unimpressive as his last outing in Action Replayy; Nafisa Ali as Ethan’s mother is graceful and Suhel Seth as his doctor is just about tolerable (better than his prime time news appearances). Model, Monikangana Dutta’s much talked about debut in the film as Estella Francis, Ethan’s ex-girlfriend pans exactly three and a half scenes; and she doesn’t shine in them.

Coming to the technical department, music by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is termed soulful by many but I find it very average; a better soundtrack could have lifted the film a few notches up. Screenplay by Bhansali and Bhavani Iyer is extremely laidback making the film seem long even if the duration is only two hours. Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography is beautiful and Sumit Basu’s art direction is good as per the director’s brief; however, the heavy Portuguese hangover does not quite go with the times we live in today. Same with Sabyasachi’s costumes for Aishwarya that look beautiful for a ramp show but on a nurse, they look outlandish. I am not saying that she should have been dressed in drab clothing but the Indo-Spanish look made her look a little unbelievable.

Guzaarish has its moments and I enjoyed it in parts… the opening sequence that shows Sofia’s daily routine with Ethan is one such part and drive outside the house is another. Unfortunately, the whole here is not greater than the sum of its parts. On another level, I think that we, and I mean the audience here, do not understand the artist called Sanjay Leela Bhansali, perhaps the same way he doesn’t understand us anymore. Do watch Guzaarish if you like any of the lead actors or the director or have the patience to appreciate each picture you see on screen. Once again, Guzaarish is not a bad film but is certainly not a master stroke.

My rating: * * * Three stars on five

– Shrey Khetarpal