Reviews

Mubarakan: Death by celebration

Arjun Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz in Mubarakan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In Anees Bazmee’s world, family entertainers are about claiming stakes over women. The prettier the better, and the ones without an opinion, even more. In Bazmee’s latest cringe-fest, you have two Arjun Kapoors doing just that. The plot is familiar: twin orphan brother, Charan and Karan, are in relationships their foster parents, also siblings, are unaware of. One loves a Muslim girl, Nafisa (Neha Sharma), and the other is dating a girl his mother loathes, Sweety (Ileana D'Cruz). Their pursuit to convince their staunchly traditional Punjabi parents starts an agonisingly long series of comedy of errors, which leads to a garish wedding in London.

Mubarakan
  • Director: Anees Bazmee
  • Cast: Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ileana D'Cruz, Athiya Shetty, Neha Sharma
  • Storyline: Identical twin brothers conspire to marry their girlfriends against parental wishes

Charan who is supposedly in a long-term relationship with Nafisa, instantly falls for Binkle (Athiya Shetty) as soon as he sees her. All Shetty does is bat her eyelashes in slow motion. Nafisa, the only female character with some semblance of intellect, soon becomes disposable. Ileana D’Cruz plays a faux feisty Punjabi girl, with very little recall value, and Shetty looks like she accidentally wandered into the sets from a wedding nearby.

In this mind-numbingly regressive film, the only silver lining is Anil Kapoor. The senior actor plays the spunky and age-appropriate character of an uncle, with utmost sincerity. Seeing Kapoor break into a British accent while in London evokes laughter. But even he can’t salvage a tiresome and preachy second half about family values.

Anil Kapoor in Mubarakan.

Anil Kapoor in Mubarakan.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Just a week earlier we had Ratna Pathak Shah give an exemplary performance in Lipstick Under My Burkha. Now when you see her in this one, you can’t help but mutter under your breath, “Why, Ratna, Why?” Had the character been that of a flamboyant Punjabi aunty, Shah would’ve aced it. But there’s not much the seasoned actor can do if the characterisation is inherently humdrum and unnecessarily melodramatic.

In a film infested with a tried-and-tested storyline and lousy acting, you’d expect Arjun Kapoor to sail through unnoticed. But despite the chaos, Arjun’s inability to express shines through. Whether he is the boisterous Karan or the timid Charan, he plays both the characters with equal amounts of inefficiency.

If you survive the visual overload of mediocrity, the booming background music playing throughout will leave you with tintinnabulations of dhol, even long after the film is over, constantly reminding you of the torture you’ve endured.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:31:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/mubarakan-death-by-celebration/article19379886.ece

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