Reviews

The Shaukeens: Meet the stalkers

A scene from the movie

A scene from the movie  

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Genre: Comedy

Director: Abhishek Sharma

Cast: Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor, Piyush Mishra, Lisa Hayden, Akshay Kumar

Prudery aside, three aging men desperate to have some illicit liaisons in the autumn of the their life could be an interesting plot of a mischievous comedy but director Abhishek Sharma fails to conjure up the mood and the moments. It neither pushes the envelope for an adult comedy nor does it manage to reignite the innocence and spontaneity which were the hallmark of the original directed by Basu Chatterjee. Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor and Piyush Mishra are not as effortless as Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A.K.Hangal but the real fault lies with the writing of Tigmanshu Dhulia who has not been able to imbue an authentic naughtiness to the borrowed stuff. The upgrade reflects only in the production budget. Goa becomes Mauritius, of course Lisa Hayden is much more uninhibited than Rati Agnihotri, who, by the way, makes an appearance in a thankless role, but it is the build up that lacks punch. Off and on, the seasoned players impress with their improvisation like the scene where Kapoor talks about how this generation takes sex casually. Mishra, who has not been seen in the comic space, is outstanding in conveying the desperation for attention but the lack of meat in situations ensure that there is no high tide in this comedy. Lisa, as the centre of attraction, disappoints in the acting department and doesn’t fit into the stereotypes that the film is propagating about old lecherous men. In fact her acting skills become a joke in the film itself providing an aa-haa! moment at last. Perhaps after watching the first half producer Akshay Kumar felt himself on the side of the suffering audience and jumped into the scene.

Things improve with his extended cameo with Cyrus Barocha that breathes some life into this listless comedy. Playing himself, Akshay makes fun of the choices of his films and his desperation to win a national award. But the garnishing can only make a dish look better; it can’t make it taste good.

Bottomline: Neither ribald nor innocent, this one is an unwarranted rehash of Basu Chatterjee’s original.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 7:23:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/the-shaukeens-meet-the-stalkers/article6574498.ece

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