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‘Judwaa 2’ review: may as well watch the original again

Not that one went looking for something different in the same old twins-separated-at-birth formula. Not that one went with a magnifying glass to spot plotholes and then crib about the lack of logic in a David Dhawan potboiler. All that one went hoping for was some entertainment. However, despite two likeable and earnest Varun Dhawans, the silliness doesn’t quite get doubly sublime. The gags are not funny, most jokes fall flat unless you can laugh easily at the sight of a couple of stuttering men. Even the relatively contemporary demonetisation, Trump and Bahubali-Kattappa pranks feel stale.

Judwaa 2
  • Director: David Dhawan
  • Starring: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Taapsee Pannu
  • Storyline: A pair of twins, separated at birth, come together after a series of misunderstandings
  • Run time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Dhawan tries desperately to milk the nostalgia (if you can call it that) for the 90s comedy that Judwaa 2 is a reboot of. So daddy Sachin Khedekar exposes a bad guy, finds one of his twin sons gone missing, assumes him to be dead. One grows up in London with the family and attends a music school in some Scottish castle. He is the weak and puny Prem. The other, lost one grows up in the rough streets of Mumbai, lives in Versova, sings and dances to larger than life Ganpati bhajans and knocks the memory off a gunda’s brain with just a coconut. He is the tough Raja. They both seem to share the bodily reflexes but when in the same country mind you. So if one kisses a girl, so does the other, well he actually even kisses the girl’s mother. Some misunderstandings later—involving the ditzy girlfriends and their respective madcap parents —the brothers get together and save the father and family from the villain in the climax. Been there, seen that! Back in 1997.

So, as you can tell, this isn’t a sequel, just a retelling of the same old film. The template remains the same as the original Judwaa, as do most of the characters. Anupam Kher (who did a different turn in the 1997 film), complete with a nosey brother-in-law here, fills in for Kader Khan and Tiku Talsania of yore. Rajpal Yadav is the new Shakti Kapoor and Upasana Singh reprises Bindu. Even the background score and a couple of remixes go back to the past. But things feel too prehistoric and outdated now in a matter of two decades. Dhawan has the habit of littering the script with kooky characters—from Rajpal Yadav as the sidekick Nandu to Pavan Malhotra as the Indian cop Dhillon (who, incidentally is called watermelon by his British colleague and we are meant to laugh. Yawn!); from Johnny Lever as an emotional passport agent to Manoj Pahwa as the English obsessed pizzeria owner—all of them are uniformally over the top and loud. The two girls are women of inconsequence, vapid ones at that. Dhawan updates the original with some new, contemporary, international scenery but fails to update the attitude for today’s times. As for Varun, well he gives it his all—from SRK mimicry to showing off his six pack abs a la Bhai and dressing down and dressing up beautifully while thrashing goons. His fans will be happy. We may as well watch the Salman Khan original again.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 8:00:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/judwaa-2-review-may-as-well-watch-the-original-again/article19775524.ece

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