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Upperstall Review

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Yamla Pagla Deewana

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Hindi, Comedy, Drama, 2011, Color





The father-son duo of Dharam Singh (Dharmendra) and Gajodhar Singh (Bobby Deol) are the biggest conmen in Banaras. Their happy go lucky existence involves drinking and pulling off hilarious cons on unsuspecting people. The only hitch in their perfect albeit notorious life arrives in the form of Paramveer Singh Dhillon (Sunny Deol). A brawny and honest NRI from Vancover, Paramveer, lands up in Banaras claiming to be Gajodhar's elder brother separated at childhood. The duo willingly accepts Paramveer into their fold only to exploit his muscle power to serve their con games.Meanwhile, Gajodhar falls in love with Saheba (Kulraj Randhawa), a beautiful Sardarni from Punjab. As their romance reaches its peak, her brothers arrive and forcibly take her away. Paramveer saves the day with a crazy plan to win the girl back for Gajodhar which leads them to the rustic heartlands of Punjab...



Ajay Devgnís VO at the beginning of the movie is a genuinely funny speech on the classic lost and found formula of Bollywood movies through the years, and clearly lets you know that you donít have to take what follows next too seriously.

Which is good, because what follows next is a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde game that the director seems keen on playing with us. Mixed with some wonderfully entertaining scenes are a lot of ridiculous and implausible ones, seriously obscene item songs, and a jerky, clumsy, and nonsensical screenplay that is devoid of ideas on how to move the story ahead from one point to the other. Most of the entertainment is in the first half, and are solely on the rather broad shoulders of Sunny Deol. Specifically, every fight sequences is designed as a set piece for the film, and it has to be admitted, well executed too. Sunnyís Matrix crosses Dabangg action scenes pack a brawny, Jat punch, but they are also witty and great fun to watch. What is inexplicable is how for everything else outside these scenes, the film just fails to launch. Though clumsy and poorly thought out, the first half still has some meat in Sunnyís quest to find his estranged father and brother, and there is a sense of intrigue in why Dharmendra refuses to acknowledge him as his son even when both know the truth. But the moment the script shifts focus to Booby Deolís unbelievably poorly crafted love track, the film plummets. After a 15 minute soliloquy by his love interest on the story of Mirza-Sahiba that literally put me to sleep, we are randomly introduced to her family, an example of the non-existence of scene transitions that plague the movie till the end.

The second half, set in Punjab plummets into farce without comedy, with just a few stray moments of Sunnyís brilliance garnering some laughs, in an otherwise morbid affair that stumbles on the predictable end. The plot machinations that move the film ahead are random and unconvincing, and there is generally a lack of good ideas to work the story. The music is strictly average, except for the title track, which still holds the same charm even today. Overusing it through the film does it no favors though.

Sunny Deolís Paramveer comes across as extremely endearing, and he pitches in an earnest and convincing performance. The same canít be said for Bobby Deol, whose sole character study seems to be on how to chew pan. And thatís a good thing, because then he really canít talk much, thank heavens! Veteran Dharmendra also falls a few pegs short with his whiskey loving con act of Dharamveer Singh Dhillon. Age does seem to have taken a toll, and though he tries hard, he is a shadow of the man who, even today, can be considered to be one of the most handsome actors to have graced our films.

With the ensemble Deol family cast, director Samir Karnik had a lot of opportunities to make this a special film. Itís the absence of solid writing that even the combined might of Deols canít compensate for, and that makes the film a disappointing watch.


Upperstall review by: Mr Care





 

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