Twice not so nice as medi­ocrity re­turns

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - NATION - RO­HIT VATS

Sal­man Khan’s Jud­waa (1997) wasn’t a great film, but it has nos­tal­gia at­tached to it. This is why most of us were keen on see­ing how close Varun Dhawan gets to Sal­man in Jud­waa 2. He doesn’t dis­ap­point. The film en­ter­tains with­out de­mand­ing your men­tal fac­ul­ties. How­ever, your de­ci­sion to watch it twice will de­pend on your ap­petite for slap­stick.

A smug­gler called Charles (Zakir Hus­sain) kid­naps one of the iden­ti­cal twins of the Mal­ho­tra fam­ily right af­ter their birth. They grow up as Raja in Mum­bai and Prem in Lon­don (both played by Varun Dhawan) and be­have in a sim­i­lar fash­ion when they’re in prox­im­ity. So if one is be­ing amorous, the other will in­vol­un­tar­ily kiss some­one too. A doc­tor de­scribes it as one in eight mil­lion cases, and ac­tu­ally pinches a kid to demon­strate his the­ory. As if we were look­ing for logic in David Dhawan’s plot.

Soon, the two hero­ines, Jacque­line Fer­nan­dez and Taapsee Pannu, join ju­nior Dhawan and raise the tem­per­a­ture. By now, it’s all gloss and punch­lines.

How? Con­sider this: Some­body asks Upasana Singh, Sa­mara’s mother, whether she knows mu­sic. She replies, “Sa re ga ma Amitabh Bachchan.” Be­cause Pa! Get it?

From 1997 to 2017, what has not changed is the story’s in­her­ent misog­yny and racist jokes. But you laughed in Jud­waa, and you may well laugh again.

There are lay­ered gags too. Like when a psy­chi­a­trist played by Ali As­gar tells Varun Dhawan, “Aapko split per­son­al­ity dis­or­der bilkul nahi hai”. This is Jud­waa 2’s strength. Dhawan has, at least, picked his cast well: Anu­pam Kher, Ra­j­pal Ya­dav, Vi­van Bhatena and Pawan Mal­ho­tra.

The onus is on Varun Dhawan to fill into Sal­man’s shoes and he does that, while en­joy­ing the PJs. You ob­ject to the con­tent, but this is noth­ing other than what was promised in the trail­ers.

How­ever, both Jacque­line and Taapsee have been re­duced to glam­our el­e­ments. But they try their best to sup­port Varun Dhawan in mak­ing a joke work. Jud­waa 2, like the orig­i­nal, is medi­ocre, but it may lift your mood. At 149-min­utes, it has some laugh-wor­thy mo­ments.

Both Jacque­line Fer­nan­dez and Taapsee Pannu have been re­duced to glam­our el­e­ments in the movie.

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