By Troy Ribeiro
Film: “Mubarakan”; Director: Anees Bazmee; Cast: Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Athiya Shetty, Neha Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah and Pavan Raj Malhotra, Rating: ***
Nothing is implausible if it works in cinema. After all, it is a part of getting the job done and hence, one does not complain when it comes to “Mubarakana” as it entertains you wholeheartedly.
As the film opens, we are informed that twins, Karan and Charan, both played by Arjun Kapoor are separated at birth. Not simply destined, but absolutely required to, by the bylaws of the Bollywood ‘Code of Cliches’.
With a predictable plot, this Anees Bazmee oeuvre with all tropes of comedy like his previous films, is based on personalities and dialogues. The audience is the target of the joke. When something funny happens, the actors don’t react; the film itself reacts by what it shows next.
Set in a Sikh family; the drama is obviously high strung. The characters are supposed to be intelligent, loud, family-oriented and yet they have the maturity of gnats.
Again by the Bollywood Code of Cliches, the twins both in love; Karan with Sweety (Ileana D’Cruz) and Charan with Nafisa (Neha Sharma) are expected to marry as per their foster parents’ wishes.
So, when a proposal comes from a close family friend, Mr. Sandhu’s daughter Binkle (Athiya Shetty), the duo are tongue tied. They simply cannot muster the courage to tell their respective foster parents about their love life.
Complications arise when the twin’s uncle Kartar Singh (Anil Kapoor) comes up with an “idea” to rescue his nephews, which leads to a big family fight. How they resolve the issues, forms the crux of the tale.
Though over the top, the actors are natural and very engaging. Real life uncle and nephew — Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor shine in their respective roles.
Arjun shuttles between the shrewish Karan and the shy goody boy Charan with aplomb. Anil Kapoor on the other hand offers nothing extraordinary that we have not seen him do in his earlier films. Together, their camaraderie is palpable on screen.
The three heroines, Ileana D’Cruz as Sweety, Neha Sharma as Nafisa and Athiya Shetty as Binkle are outright perfunctory in their approach.
While the rest of the cast laudably essasy their roles effectively, it is those in the side-lines who actually take centre-stage.
What contributes to their performance, is undoubtedly the well-etched characters. Prominent among them are; Ratna Pathak Shah as Jeetu Bua and Karan’s foster mother and Pavan Raj Malhotra as Charan’s foster father Baljeet Singh who create an impact.
While the story by Balwinder Singh Janjua and Rupinder Chahal is cliched, the dialogues with comic timings, cross-references and community-jibes are noteworthy and entertaining.
The songs are an aberration to the narrative. It simply breaks the impact, especially the songs with the lyrics, “Hawa hawaa” and “Tu Google pa ke nacha”.
While the first half of the film is a breezy laugh-a-minute riot, the second half tends to be a bit melodramatic and preachy.
With ace production values, the film is a glossy and high-ended.
Overall, the film is a well-packaged entertainer.
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