Movies

‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’….Missing audience

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MUMBAI: Dum Laga Ke Haisha is very unlike a Yash Raj Films product. It gives you nothing of that finesse most of their films boast of. What’s more, Bhumi Pednekar, who makes her debut with this film, is not the kind who can become a heartthrob of young men. She is not the traditional slim, stylish, chiffon clad actress Yash Raj women are identified with. Also, unlike most of their films, this one is about a traditional middleclass family based in a small town Haridwar of mid 1990s.

Ayushmann Khurrana, the only son of Sanjay Mishra, looks after the family tape recording shop but is a zero when it comes to studies and is deficient in English. He is a huge Kumar Sanu fan. He is shy and terrified of his dominating father. His father has decided it is time to get him married and the match is found in Bhumi, a fat chubby girl who loves to dance and never wears clothes that match. However, she is better qualified and ready to become a teacher.

The marriage is performed notwithstanding Khurrana’s reluctance. The first night draws a blank and Bhumi starts working on attracting Khurrana towards her. Her first stop is a lingerie shop. Let alone loving her, Khurrana is even ashamed of the fact that she is his wife. But Bhumi is determined and not the kind to take taunts and insults as she gives it back to Khurrana’s aunt and also ends up slapping Khurrana when she hears him insult her behind her back. Bhumi has had enough and is ready to return to her parents.

Producer: Manish Sharma

Director: Sharat Kataria

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra

The dual continues as both miss no opportunity to make each other conscious of their problems. There is a scene where she plays the tape with a song to provoke Khurrana and he on his part comes out of bathroom with soap all over him to play another song to give it back to her. This turns out to be a medley of old songs. And there are times when Khurrana finds it tough to balance his scooter with Bhumi on the pillion.

The story may not find identification with today’s audience initially but its simplicity may finally touch them. The director makes sure he keeps it as simple and maintains its old-fashioned native flavour. However, one thing that stands out as an eyesore is Khurrana’s dressing; there is nothing native about it as his costumes are dandy. Anu Malik stages a comeback and with him come some sensible lyrics and soulful tunes in ‘Moh moh ke dhage….’ As Kumar Sanu gives other two songs, ‘Dard karaara…’and ‘Tu’ the ‘90s feeling. The dialogue has subtle humour. The film is 111 minutes long and becomes more lively post interval.

Khurrana is good in a subdued role. Bhumi is impressive. Sanjay Mishra, as usual, stands out. The rest are good as supporting cast.

Though watchable, Dum Laga Ke Haisha has not been given due publicity and has opened poorly with very little chance of catching up.

Ab Tak Chhappan 2’.. Ab tak enough!

Ab Tak Chhappan 2 as the title suggests is a sequel to Ab Tak Chhappan, released 11 years back to the day (27 February, 2004). This also suggests that the sequel has come too late as the theme of specialist police shooters, called encounter specialists, has passed its expiry date and is no more relevant. Also, so many bullets have been fired since by all and sundry (good as well as bad) that a gun-toting cop is no longer exciting.

Nana Patekar is encounter specialist Sadhu Agashe, is facing court cases for unsanctioned killings of criminals. He is happy whiling away his time fishing, making meals for his teenaged son and playing marbles in his native village somewhere in Goa. The criminals have resurfaced and there is chaos in the city of Mumbai. The ex-commissioner, Mohan Agashe, is summoned by CM Dilip Prabhavalkar and HM Vikram Gokhale, during whose tenure as police chief the encounter specialist team was formed and underworld reined in.

Agashe suggests Nana be brought back even as two other senior cops, Ashutosh Rana and Govind Namdeo, disagree with the idea. For his part, Nana too is reluctant despite an offer to withdraw all litigation against him. However, his son convinces him finally to go back since he is a cop and not a fisherman.

Producers: Raju Chadha

Director: Aejaz Gulab

Cast: Nana Pateka, Gul Panag, Mohan Agashe, Govind Namdev, Raj Zutshi, Vikram Gokhale, Ashutosh Rana

So Nana is back heading the force with a very resistant Rana as an enemy within. It is business as usual as Nana goes on a shooting spree, killing a goon first and then telling the viewers about the deceased. They are just dummies. But, the joke is about the two dons who rule over Mumbai underworld; one is a suave, computer-wiz Raj Zutshi, holed up somewhere abroad because he is scared of his rival, a nondescript actor, who may just pass off as a street side gunda, least of all a big time don!

As has been reported often, these specialists also work on behest of dons and that happens in this story too as it did in the earlier version 11 years back. Nothing is new. Nana’s wife was shot dead in part one, this time his son falls to the villains’ bullets. That is the final push he needs.

However, there is an effort to salvage the already sunk plot; this is not just another cop story, there is a twist though a very predictable one from reel one. There is a greedy politician pulling strings.

Ab Tak Chhappan 2 is built on a wrong premise: just about everything about it is misconceived. The script is run of the mill and the direction is copy book; nothing original or inspirational. Camera angles are corny. Thankfully, there are no songs and the background score is okay. Despite a tolerable 105-minute duration, the film gives the feeling of being lengthy; some crisp editing could have brought it down to maybe 90 minutes.

Dialogue is very tacky. There is no scope for performances and Nana sticks to being Nana. So do Rana and Namdeo, who stick to their routine. Gul Panag, whose character is forced in, is a misfit and miscast. Prabhavalkar has little to make an impact. The only actor who makes his presence felt is Gokhale.

Ab Tak Chhappan 2 has had a miserable opening and may find it hard to last the week.

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