Director - Anees Bazmee
Starring – Arjun Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Athiya Shetty, Ileana D'Cruz, Pawan Malhotra and Ratna Pathak Shah
Rating - 2.5/5
“You are chasing a Punjabi,” reads Kartar Singh’s (Anil Kapoor) red four wheeler, zipping across London. The whole film has him chasing a suitable match for his twin nephews Charan and Karan (Arjun Kapoor) across India and London. What could have been a super clichéd film becomes entertaining purely because of the performances.
The actor that merits first mention is Pawan Malhotra who plays the domineering father of Charan. He lives the role of the insulted dad who must get his son married in a month’s time to prove a point to his sister played by Ratna Pathak Shah.
Anil Kapoor plays his single brother with ease and makes for some funny one-liners including “Mai hoon baraf” (watch the film to know why and how). Playing a naradesque character, he is the turning point in all the confusion and drama. In his interviews, he has mentioned that this is his “Jawaani ki first film” with Anees Bazmee – his dialogues in the film reflect a similar sense of humour. He identifies more with his nephews than with his siblings, defying age and looking as young as them, “Baat aapas mein rakhte hain. Youth mein,” he says. And true enough, he looks his youthful self at 60! And yes, he does say “Don’t touch my feet my lad” and “I swear on the Queen” too.
Ratna Pathak Shah slips into her role as the sister of these two brothers ( Anil Kapoor and Pawan Malhotra) and adds a bit of contained melodrama to the scenes. As for the actresses, Ileana adds spunk to the role and Athiya Shetty looks demure and beautiful. Neha Sharma also makes her presence felt with her role of a Muslim lawyer in love with a Sikh boy.
As for Arjun Kapoor, out of all his films till date, 60 percent or more have been spent playing desi roles. Ishaqzaade, Aurangzeb, Gunday, Tevaar, Half Girlfriend and now Mubarakan has a bit of both. The droopy eyed actor’s second double role is delivered in a lighter vein. He succeeds in making both characters, Charan and Karan, look different. Though that is established in the title song, he carries it further with nuanced body language. The role of the turbaned Charan is more convincing, while the portrayal of his twin Karan appears forced. His scenes with real-life uncle Anil Kapoor is played with great ease.
The story by Balwinder Singh Janjua and Rupinder Chahal sets the film in the Sikh space. Loud characters, bright sets, songs and dances and slapstick humour dominate this Anees Bazmee film. But the instances do make you smile. Elements of humour are scattered through the film - The Punjab di mitti packaged phrases such as ‘Jatt ko jet lag nahi hota’, ‘Bade mel milaapi ho’… make for some laughable moments.
The second half of the film drags a bit, though it has some lighter moments. If you look for progressive thought in the film such as how families still dominate their children’s choice of a partner, how religion and prejudices in parent’s generation are imposed on their kids’ choices in a partner, then you are barking up the wrong tree. But if you brush that aside and judge it purely as a comedy, you‘ll laugh at izzat ka falooda …