Cine1 Studios, Cape Of Good Films and Ashwin Varde Productions’ The Shaukeens (UA) is the story of three sex-starved oldies and their lusty quest to satisfy their carnal desires.
Laali (Anupam Kher), KD (Anu Kapoor) and Pinky (Piyush Mishra) have different reasons for being sex-starved. They are well past their prime and decide to go on a holiday to Mauritius with the sole aim of having sex with willing girls there. They rent a house belonging to Ahana (Lisa Haydon) in Mauritius. Ahana, who stays alone in the house, is scheduled to go on a trip at that time and, therefore, rents out her house. But the trip is cancelled at the last minute and she returns home no sooner than the three lusty oldies start to stay in her house.
All the three men find Ahana hot, sexy and desirable and are more than happy that she would be staying with them. They all try to woo her and get fresh with her and are happy that she has had a breakup with her boyfriend. They soon learn that Ahana is a diehard fan of film star Akshay Kumar (Akshay Kumar) who is presently shooting in Mauritius. Ahana tells them that she’d be willing to do anything for the person who could introduce her to Akshay Kumar. The three old men assume that her ‘anything’ would mean having sex with the person.
The three men try in their own ways to get Ahana to meet her idol, expecting her to sleep with them in return for the favour. Ahana first meets Akshay Kumar when Laali takes her to his shooting after paying a unit hand a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh. Ahana gifts Akshay a pair of sunglasses designed by herself and made from her toe-nails. Akshay Kumar is disgusted with the gift but Ahana is ecstatic about the meeting. She thanks Laali very much but his dream of getting physical with her remains just that. However, the other two friends assume that Laali has had his share of fun with Ahana.
Next, KD takes Ahana to meet Akshay Kumar, assuming that she had had physical relations with Laali after he had introduced her to Akshay Kumar. This time, Ahana gifts Akshay a muffler made from the feathers of pigeons. Once again, Akshay Kumar is horrified with the gift but Ahana is in the seventh heaven. Again, KD is unable to get physical with Ahana.
It is now Pinky’s turn to impress Ahana as he feels, Ahana has obliged both his friends. His attempt to get Ahana to meet Akshay Kumar for the third time goes completely awry when the film star, in an inebriated state, insults the three old men as well as Ahana who, incidentally, has brought him a jacket designed by her.
Why did Akshay Kumar behave rudely? Does he apologise for his behaviour or not? Does Ahana realise why the three old men were trying to introduce her to Akshay Kumar? Do the three oldies fulfil their carnal desires in Mauritius?
The film is inspired by Basu Chatterjee’s Shaukeen (1982). Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sai Kabir Srivastava’s story and screenplay seem to have been written in a hurry because a number of comedy scenes are not funny enough and also because the script looks disjointed. The scenes in which the three old men discuss matters of sex and girls should’ve been very funny and should’ve tickled the audience’s funny bone but many of those scenes actually fail to evoke even a smile! Also, their conversations on love, sex and lust are so in-your-face that the impact gets diluted. Had the humour been subtle, the fun quotient would’ve been higher. The constant reference to Facebook likes by Ahana is cute but it will be enjoyed more by the classes. The scenes of Akshay Kumar on the sets of his film in Mauritius are funny but again, the conversation mostly revolves around trade-oriented topics (like getting into the skin of the character, 100-crore and 200-crore clubs, endorsements etc.), greatly restricting its appeal. Of course, there are scenes which evoke laughter but they are not enough for a film of this genre. For example, Akshay Kumar making fun of himself will entertain the audience. The climax is half-baked and far from convincing. Dialogues, penned by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sai Kabir Srivastava, are funny at places and ordinary at others.
Akshay Kumar is very good, playing himself. He is aided brilliantly by scenes and dialogues to poke fun at himself. Anupam Kher is fairly good as Laali. Anu Kapoor plays the character of KD effectively. Piyush Mishra is natural in the role of Pinky. Lisa Haydon does a splendid job of Ahana. She looks sexy and acts very ably, endearing herself to the audience, in the process. Rati Agnihotri is okay as Laali’s wife. Suparna Marwah (as Laali’s sister) and Sachin Kumar (as Laali’s son) are alright. Vineet Kumar (as Bunty) and Ankush Ratnani (as Lucky) lend lovely support. Gitanjali Mishra (as Bunty’s wife) and Sammanika Singh (as Lucky’s wife) do fair jobs. Cyrus Broacha is excellent as Akshay Kumar’s secretary. Kavin Dave (as Damodar) makes his presence felt. Gaurav Gera is okay as Bhanu, Pinky’s Mauritius dealer. Manoj Joshi, as the film director, is quite alright. Subrat Dutta is outstanding as National Award-winning director Ranjit Bahadur. Yuvika Chaudhary (as Akshay Kumar’s co-star), Rajni Basumatary (as Thai massage parlour manager Angie) and the others are adequate.
Abhishek Sharma’s direction is fair. Although the film is designed as a comedy, it doesn’t evoke laughter at enough places – and the blame for this shortcoming would rest on the director as well as the two writers. Music (Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hard Kaur, Vikram Nagi and Arko) is racy and popular. Lyrics (Shabbir Ahmed, Siddharth Banerjee, Arko and Sahil Kaushal) are fair. Song picturisations (Ahmed Khan, Ganesh Acharya and Adil Shaikh) could’ve been better. Sandeep Chowta’s background music is fairly nice but leaves something to be desired. Amalendu Chaudhary’s cinematography is of a good standard. Feroz Khan’s action and stunts are functional. Madhu Sarkar Kuriakose’s production designing is appropriate. Editing (by Rameshwar S. Bhagat) could’ve been tighter.
On the whole, The Shaukeens falls short of expectations as the subject had far more potential. It is not half as funny and entertaining as the story promises and it will, therefore, not be able to prove its worth at the box-office. Losing.