If you have had a bad day and want to cheer yourself up, Yamla Pagla Deewana is the best option you have this week. Rather, it is one of the best options you have had in quite some time. And if you have had a good day, it just gets better!
Unashamedly based on a the age old and cliched Bollywood formula of separation and reunion in families, Yamla Pagla Deewana starts with a recap of some of the famous 70's dramas in the credits. That sets the tone.
So you have a Canada-based banker Paramveer Singh Dhillon (Sunny Deol) who finds that his father and brother are still alive and are in Varanasi. He promises his mother to get them back and lands in India. Here he meets them but his father Dharam Singh (Dharmendra) refuses to recognize him. Paramveer decides to stick on till he gets his father to accept him. In the meantime the younger brother Gajodhar Singh (Bobby Deol) falls in love and that takes the three of them to Punjab.
The first half is almost a drag as the director sets the stage for an exciting second half. In fact the story barely moves in the first half, though it is replete with magical moments. Post the intermission the story takes a huge leap in pace while keeping the laughs alive. You have references of the Deol films and also fresh stocks of jokes. For example a young Punjabi girl's desire to settle in 'Caneda' and preparing for it by reading up about the country on the internet! There are also funny statements on how the masses feel anyone speaking in English is right.
The film could have been better if the first half was controlled. A couple of songs could have been easily removed - something evidently kept for one section of the audience. And then the chaotic Priyadarshan style climax could have definitely been done better.
The Deol-magic is manifested to the optimum with their trademark characteristics used in the storytelling. So you have Sunny Deol and Dharmendra bashing up goons in Rajnikanth style action while Bobby romancing his girlfriend on music borrowed from Kareeb. The film looks like it has been directed by a hardcore Deol fan as it is filled with everything that the audience loves about the Deols. The good part is that all of these gimmicks actually gel very well into the story and are not just clubbed in for some cheap cheers.
The three Deols are in magical form as they do what they do best. Sunny Deol is very good. Dharmedra looks good at this age. Bobby Deol comes up with one of his best performances as he tries comedy- a genre he has not exploited much. Kulraj Randhawa adds the much required freshness. The rest of the cast bring in their own styles to make the film more entertaining. Amit Mistry deserves special mention.
After a decent start to the year with No One Killed Jessica, this film promises to shoo away the ghosts of last year's dismal box office reports even further. We often try to come up with some phrase to describe a film. Like the promos says that this film has action, romance, emotions, drama and also a lot of confusion! It indeed has a whole lot of elements that Indian cinema has predominantly celebrated- be it family, honesty or love. YPD generates one cheer - Hit hai! Well the team deserves this one, at least director Samir Karnik does!
Critic: Yamla Pagla Deewana
(3 / 5) : Good