Do not expect any novelty in the plot

MUMBAI: Jannat 2 is a cookie-cutter Mukesh Bhatt-Emraan Hashmi film where the hero is lured into petty criminal activities to earn money and aspires to get into bigger crimes to make more money. That is when a woman enters his life and he wants to change for the better.Emraan Hashmi‘s character need not be rewritten since it is the same as the earlier Jannat; he is a petty criminal in Delhi who, under the guise of selling fabric cut pieces, deals in country-made guns. He is picked up by an almost lunatic policeman, Randeep Hooda, who is obsessed with finishing off the business of such guns because his wife, who he loved very much, was shot dead by one such gun.

Hooda wants to use Hashmi to reach the kingpin behind the origins of this business. Hurt in his encounter with Hooda, Hashmi goes to a charity hospital for dressing; following the cyclostyled Bhatt Brothers script where just names change along with the kind of underworld the film is going to deal with, he falls for the doctor, Esha Gupta. His pursuit finally pays off when she agrees to marry him; now he has to mend his ways, give up illegal activities and make a decent life with her.

Hooda has different plan. He wants Hashmi to join the arms ring and reach to the top to uncover the ultimate head. As things turn, Hashmi is stuck between two people, the maniacal Hooda and the ring kingpin, Manish Choudhary. While there is no way he can get out of the trap, he also has to make sure his love, Gupta, does not find out the truth.

Hashmi has to tread carefully within the triangle, a process which lacks twists and turns and often becomes repetitive: his scenes with the cop and Gupta, trying to get free of Hooda‘s grip, dodging the suspicions of the kingpin and balancing his act with Gupta.

It is during first hour while Hashmi plays the tapori along with a sidekick, Zeeshan Ayub, that the film is fun. It gets predictable thereafter due to which the second half of the film loses pace at many places. His chasing Esha Gupta probably needed some more footage to add to the romance angle.

What has changed from the formula is the location and the kind of illegal activity the film deals with, so there is no novelty to be expected in the plot. Considering this, the film needed to be a little tauter.

Direction is copybook style. Music, which has usually been the strong point of Mukesh Bhatt films, is not up the mark here. Cinematography is good. Dialogue is mostly street variety with generous use of Hindi bad words. Emraan Hashmi has to play his usual self being a street smart petty conman. Randeep Hooda goes overboard as a cop gone berserk. Esha Gupta, luckily, does not need to show any histrionics and looks mature. Brijendra Kala impresses with mere expressions having few lines to mouth. Manish Choudhary is passable. Zeeshan Ayub shows promise.

Jannat 2 has opened to a very good response, thanks to the brand equity created by Bhatt banner-Emraan Hashmi-Jannat success combine. However, to make profit for the distributor, the film will have to do much more business than the biggest Emraan Hashmi hit.

Fatso is neither a comedy nor a romance

Original ideas are at a premium and inspiration dignifies lifting ideas from the older movies. Fatso finds its roots in a 1968 Hindi film, Jhuk Gaya Asman, which was copied from a 1941 Hollywood film, Here Comes Mr Jordan, which was in turn adapted from the play, Heaven Can Wait. It has since been made a few more times in film (Heaven Can Wait, 1978, and Down To Earth, 2001 as well as for TV). While Jhuk Gaya Asman was about romance backed up with family wealth, jealousies and treachery, Fatso attempts to make this into a modern youth-centric romance-comedy but emerges as a half-baked product; more like a TV episode.

Purab Kohli, Ranvir Shorey and Neil Bhoopalam are bum chums. Kohli and Gul Panag are deeply in love and are planning their wedding; Bhoopalam has a relationship going with Gunjan Bakshi while Shorey is the one without any ties mainly because he is big, fat and paunchy.

Life is all fun until one day the three friends are driving on a foggy highway and meet with an accident, killing Kohli. It turns out that there is no heaven or hell; dead people only go to a department where there are hundreds of people lining up for nobody knows what; files are made on them after which they can then live without sleep or hunger or any human feelings. The place is more chaotic than an Indian interstate bus depot. The department realises that bringing in Kohli is a blunder and it was really Shorey who was supposed to be killed in the mishap. After some supposed to be funny (but not really funny) scenes, it is decided to send Kohli back on earth but since his body has already been cremated, he has to get into Shorey‘s body, who was to die in the first place.

Wanting to make the most of Kohli‘s death, his friend Bhoopalam wants to win over Panag and dump his own girlfriend. As Kohli, in the form of Shorey, knows he can‘t convince anyone of the reality, he keeps foiling Bhoopalam‘s attempts till finally, Panag sees him filling the void in her life and falls for him. While Kohli in Shorey‘s body gets his love back, Panag has found a new love altogether.

The problem with Fatso is that, it neither succeeds in delivering a comedy nor the moments of romance. Script is rather loose and direction routine. Performance wise, Ranvir Shorey emerges as the best of the lot. Purab Kohli is good; Neil Bhoopalam and Gunjan Bakshi are okay. Gul Panag is her usual bubbly self. Of the rest, Brijendra Kala makes his presence felt.

Fatso has been released at limited screens with one to two shows a day but finding audience will still be a challenge.

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