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Mubarakan......Fun while it lasts

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Mubarakan is designed to be a crazy comedy on the lines of Bazmee’s own, Welcome, Sajid Khan’s Housefull, Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House and other such movies where knotty situations are created leading to one tangle after another, leading to a lot of funny situations and laughter as a result.

The prime ingredient is a horde of artistes, preferably a talented lot if it has to work better. However, depending on the script and screenplay, not to forget peppy dialogue of which some work, some don’t.

Being a situational comedy, more the characters on the screen, better the pace. With fewer characters, it would become tedious. The story about identical twin brothers separated at birth because of circumstances, helps add spice. And, of course, a film has to justify folks dancing in colourful costumes at a family wedding. That is being so Indian.

This muddle revolves around a Sikh family divided between Chandigarh in India and London in the UK.
It falls upon the bachelor played by Anil Kapoor to bring up his twin nephews, the character of Arjun Kapoor in a dual role, when his brother played by Sanjay Kapoor and his wife die in a car crash. Not in a position to take up the responsibility, he sends off one of the twins to his older brother, played by Pawan Malhotra, and the other to his sister, played by Ratna Pathak Shah.

Charan, one of the twins, brought up by Pawan grows up to be a shy, introvert and traditional Sikh, sporting his pagdi while the one brought up in London by Ratna is bold, has shorn his hair and, is outgoing. However, both brought up by their adoptive parents, are in awe of them and give them full respect.

Arjun from London has followed the character of Ileana D’Cruz to Chandigarh whom he has been courting for two years. He keeps promising her that he will talk to his parents soon but, an accident meeting between her and Ratna, turns into Ileana calling Ratna names and ridiculing her. That puts paid to Arjun’s plans to take Ileana’s to meets his strong headed mother, Ratna.

The shy Arjun with pagdi loves the character of Neha Sharma, a lawyer by profession. He is scared to take her home to meet his father, Pawan, for he is shy by nature as it were and the fact that she is not from the Sikh community deters him from doing so.

Pawan decides to fix up his nephew, Karan’s wedding with the character of Athiya Shetty, daughter of a London tycoon played by Rahul Dev. But, being in love with Ileana, he wriggles out of the proposal, instead, suggesting the family choose Athiya for Charan. But, Charan wants to marry Neha.

None of the two is opening up about their true intentions and, instead, approach their maternal uncle, Anil Kapoor, to help get them out of the situation. Anil has decided to remain a bachelor, drowning his sorrows in alcohol after a failed romance. In helping his nephews, he finds a cause.

To start with, when the family reaches Rahul’s palatial house, Anil suggests Arjun (Charan) act as a drug addict which would be easy to pass off since his home state, Punjab, has been in news for drug abuse; he even quotes Udta Punjab (a recent film on the Punjab drug menace).

Then on starts a chain of events which create funny situations in the film which at most times keep viewers giggling.

Comedy writing has not been the forte of Hindi filmmaking clan. But, in the case of Mubarakan, the team of writers has done a good job, which was expected considering the director, Bazmee, who himself began his career as a writer, would know what he wanted. Dialogue adds to the fun.

Despite this, some scenes stretch and the climax, though enjoyable, follows on the predictable lines. Bazmee, the director, handles his artistes well, making their causes look convincing and not letting the performances look like buffoonery.

The cinematography is good with ample help from the choice of locations. Choreography adds colour to the proceedings. Editing could have been a little crisper. Though dominated by Punjabi songs, the music works in the film’s favour with foot tapping numbers. The title song is already popular with the reworked version of Hasan Jehangir’s 1987 number, Hawa hawa… and the romantic song, Hathon mei haath…..being appealing.

This despite being a no holds barred comedy attempt, the actors are reigned in well. Anil Kapoor verges on going overboard but that is what his character demands. Arjun Kapoor does a very good job in two totally different characters. Ileana D’Cruz is aptly peppy. Athiya has a limited role in first half and is restrained in the latter parts when she gets more exposure; her dancing is graceful. Neha Sharma impresses. Rahul Dev and Karan Kundra live up to their roles of arrogant but traditional Sikhs. However, the ones who give the comic film credence are Ratna Shah Pathak and Pawan Malhotra.
Mubarakan is a family entertainer and though the opening is average (the film’s promos were uninspiring), the film has the prospects to pick up over the weekend.

Producers: Ashwin Varde, Murad Khetani.

Director: Anees Bazmee.

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor (double role), Ileana D'Cruz, Athiya Shetty, Neha Sharma, Rahul Dev, Karan Kundra,, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pavan Malhotra.

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