Reviews

Who let the dogs out!

A scene from the movie.  

ENTERTAINMENT

Genre: Comedy

Director: Sajid- Farhad

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Junior, the dog, Tamannaah, Prakash Raj, Sonu Sood, Mithun Chakraborty, Johny Lever, Krushna

Sajid and Farhad open the “Locket” of B-grade movies to make fun and pay tribute to the devices used to distinguish them over the years. Largely known for writing gag-driven screenplays and dialogues for Rohit Shetty’s films, and here as directors, they get an opportunity to indulge in relentless word play and lend a cheerful idiocy to the proceedings. It is for an audience whose benchmark for entertainment is “Comedy Nights with Kapil” and if you keep expectations in check you won’t find that these guys are barking up the wrong tree.

From the sudden discovery of rich lineage to the loyalty of animal proving better than men, the duo aspires is to create a modern-day cross between Jeetendra’s “Locket” and “Haathi Mera Saathi” and “Teri Meherbaniya” kind of animal-friendly cinema. It starts like a breeze with Akshay Kumar as the jack of many trades finding hard to convince the stingy father (Mithun Chakraobrty) of his girl friend (Tamannah). The father wants a crorepati for his actor daughter and as the boy sets out to become one he discovers that he is actually the heir of a millionaire jeweller in Bangkok. However, his joys are short lived for the jeweller has left his property for his loyal dog, curiously named Entertainment.

The intentional silliness pays off as it spirals into a series of twists none of which is entirely original. Be it the “Bhoot Bangla” inspired narration of ghostly events or the existence of conniving relatives and a Muslim friend, Sajid and Farhad have fitted in every possible trope to the screenplay. The levity is maintained almost all through as the director duo has found horses for the courses. It is good to see Krushna and Johny Lever back in business because they understand the value of timing in this cheesy space and Sajid and Farad have given them enough material to play with. Krushna with his knack for using actors’ name to describe a situation is particularly funny till it is exhausted by overuse. Prakash Raj and Mithun have become staple features of such ribald ventures and Tamannaah is not bad at imitating the television bahu.

Akshay is conversant with this high-pitched zone and remains one note till the climax where he surprisingly manages to give the pulpy proceedings an emotional turn as he plays second fiddle to Junior. However, age has begun to reflect on his face and his comic punches are losing their surprise value.

Beneath the gags, the script is a patchwork of recycled ideas, a cut and paste job. In the first half, they do it at such a pace that you don’t mind being taken for a ride. But as they settle to tell the non-existent story, the gags lose their gas rather quickly. The word play starts as a novelty but after the first act with no surprises in store, it becomes a liability that we have to suffer. They have mined out almost every possible reference of the canine species from the popular lexicon. The fact that every character has a knack for rhyming dialogues and each one makes it a point to underline the rhyming words becomes hopelessly irritating. In Krushna’s parlance, it becomes Katrina Kaif!

Bottomline: After showing traces of wicked humour, it is reduced to nothing more than a rich source of PJs.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 6:15:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/who-let-the-dogs-out/article6295563.ece

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