MUBARAKAN

Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Cine 1 Studios’ Mubarakan (UA) is a comedy of errors.

Kartar Singh (Anil Kapoor) is a Sikh settled in London. He has two brothers and a sister. One brother (Sanjay Kapoor) and his wife are killed in a road accident but the couple’s tiny twins have a miraculous escape. The two tiny tots become Kartar Singh’s responsibility but because he is unmarried, he gives one baby, Charan, to his other brother, Baldev Singh (Pavan Raj Malhotra), to raise, and the other baby, Karan, to his sister, Jeeto (Ratna Pathak Shah), to bring up. Charan grows up in Chandigarh in India as Baldev Singh runs a hotel, Purani Haveli, there. Baldev lives in Chandigarh with his wife (Geeta Agrawal Sharma) and daughter (Bhoomika Sharma). On the other hand, Karan is raised in London because Jeeto lives there with her husband (Lalit Parimoo) and daughter (Nikkita Chadha). Since Karan and Charan are identical twins, they grow up looking very similar. While Karan (Arjun Kapoor), raised in London, is flamboyant and outgoing, Charan (Arjun Kapoor) is shy and timid.

Karan has a girlfriend, Sweety (Ileana D’cruz), who lives in Chandigarh. Charan also has a girlfriend, Nafisa Qureshi (Neha Sharma), who is a lawyer and lives in Chandigarh too. Karan and Charan’s parents don’t know about their girlfriends. Charan, especially, is petrified of his strict father who would never allow him to marry a Muslim girl.

Karan is presently in India. His parents arrange for a meeting between him and Sandhu’s (Rahul Dev) daughter, Binkle (Athiya Shetty). But Karan somehow convinces his uncle in India, Baldev Singh, to finalise Binkle for Charan. Since Charan doesn’t have the courage to tell his father about his Muslim girlfriend, he has to accompany his father, Baldev Singh, to London. The entire extended family – including Kartar Singh, Jeeto and her husband – accompanies Baldev Singh and Charan to the Sandhus’ mansion. Charan confides in his uncle, Kartar Singh, about his Muslim girlfriend. Kartar Singh comes to Charan’s rescue by telling him to behave in a way that the filthy rich Sandhus would themselves reject him. While that does happen, the incident goes out of hand, as a result of which Jeeto and Baldev Singh end up fighting with each other because Jeeto holds Baldev Singh responsible for humiliating Sandhu whom she and her family are indebted to. Why, Jeeto even taunts Baldev Singh that he’d never get a girl like Binkle for Charan. This infuriates Baldev so much that he vows to get Charan married to a wonderful girl in a month’s time.

Charan and an embittered Baldev return to India. Back home, Baldev takes the marriage proposal of Charan to Mr. Gill’s (Gurpal Singh) home for his pretty daughter, Sweety. Of course, he is unaware that Karan is in a relationship with Sweety. Since both, Charan and Karan, accompany Baldev to Sweety’s house, Sweety initially thinks that the marriage proposal is for Karan.

In London, Jeeto finalises Karan’s marriage with Binkle. Both the weddings are slated for 25th December and neither Baldev nor Jeeto is willing to shift the date, due to ego problems. Kartar somehow convinces Baldev to have a destination wedding for Charan and Sweety in London as he is torn between brother Baldev and sister Jeeto and this is his only way to ensure that he could attend both the weddings.

The entire family meets in London a few days before the two weddings. The cold vibes between Baldev and Jeeto are evident but Baldev’s wife tries to maintain cordiality. Jeeto reciprocates but only upto a point. Sweety is nervous that if steps are not taken, she’d end up marrying Charan. Karan is stuck with Binkle. On her part, Bin­kle had fallen in love with Charan when they had met. To make matters worse, Nafisa Qureshi lands in London to ensure that Charan doesn’t marry any girl except herself. Kartar Singh is the only elder in the family who knows everything and he has a terribly tough time handling the whole situation and trying to come up with solutions.

Does Kartar Singh reveal the truth to Baldev and Jeeto? Whom does Karan marry – Sweety or Binkle? Whom does Charan wed – Binkle or Nafisa or Sweety? Do Baldev and Jeeto forget their ugly ego clash and make up with one another? What is Kartar Singh’s role in all this?

Balwinder Singh Janjua and Rupinder Chahal have written a hilarious story with umpteen turns and twists. The thread of comedy runs through the entire story which also has an undercurrent of emotions. Since the story has many twists, it keeps the audience thoroughly involved and engrossed, and because it is laden with humour, the story keeps the viewers completely entertained. Balwinder Singh Janjua and Gurmmeet Singh’s screenplay is excellent. It is so funny that it brings the house down with laughter at many places. The first half is so racy and fast-paced that the viewers end up laughing like crazy. The drama drops a bit after interval but picks up soon. Once the proceedings become funny again, the screenplay continues to make the audience laugh and even clap in sheer delight. The angle of the deceased brother coming in Kartar’s dream is a masterstroke from the screenplay point of view. Another brilliant angle is the full-blown emotional scene in the climax, which will make many in the audience cry and weep. Rajesh Chawla’s dialogues are so extraordinary that it wouldn’t be wrong to call him a hero of the film! Yes, the dialogues are indeed a pillar of the film.

Anil Kapoor proves yet again that given a good comedy script, there is nobody like him. To say that he is extraordinary would not be an exaggeration. His sense of timing is simply outstanding. He deserves full marks for carrying the film on his shoulders alongwith Pavan Raj Malhotra and Ratna Pathak Shah. Arjun Kapoor does a fairly good job as Karan and Charan. He does go overboard in the scenes in which he speaks in a squeaky voice when nervous. Ileana D’cruz looks glamorous and acts reasonably well as Sweety. Athiya Shetty has a tiny role and she is okay. Ratna Pathak Shah shines in a role that’s trailor-made for her. She is fabulous as Jeeto and qualifies to be called one of the pillars of the film, besides Anil Kapoor, Pavan Raj Malhotra, dialogue writer Rajesh Chawla and, of course, director Anees Bazmee. Pavan Raj Malhotra is mind-blowing in a role that requires loud and over-the-top acting. His sense of comic timing is flawless, his performance, terrific. In fact, he is so wonderful that the audience waits for him to come on the screen. Rahul Dev is suitably restrained as Sandhu. Karan Kundra is so good that he makes his presence amply felt amidst all the seasoned actors and stars. He deserves praise for his performance as Manpreet Sandhu. Neha Sharma, in a special appearance, is too good as Nafisa Qureshi. Sanjay Kapoor does justice to his character in a brief special appearance. Lalit Parimoo makes a mark as Jeeto’s husband, Paramjit. Gurpal Singh is very funny as Mr. Gill. Geeta Agrawal Sharma’s acting, as Baldev’s wife, is mature. Alexander Dolbenko, as Kartar Singh’s help, Jolly, is rather cute. Bhoomika Sharma (as Baldev Singh’s daughter, Baby), Nikkita Chadha (as Jeeto’s daughter, Nikki), Mohit Chhabra (as Billa), Monisha Hassan (as Mrs. Sandhu), Krishan Tandon (as the Babaji in the gurudwara in London) and the rest lend the required support.

Anees Bazmee’s direction is brilliant. He deserves extra praise for making a film for all types of audiences – multiplex-frequenting and single-screen cinema viewers, rich and poor, masses and classes, young and old, girls and guys. Family audiences will also love the narrative style. Anees is in top form! Music (Amaal Malik, Gourov-Roshin, Rishi Rich and R.D. Burman) is good but not a single song is a chartbuster. One or two hit numbers could’ve made a big difference. Kumaar’s lyrics are nice. Dance picturisations (by Ahmed Khan, Bosco-Caesar, Remo D’Souza and Anees Bazmee) are quite good. Amar Mohile’s background music has an enhancing effect on the scenes. Himman Dhamija’s camerawork is lovely. Production designing (by Durgaprasad Mahapatra) is of a very good standard. Sandeep Kurup’s editing is razor-sharp.

On the whole, Mubarakan is a definite winner at the box-office. It is an excellent entertainer which will fetch rewards for all concerned. But it must be added that its fullest potential will definitely not be realised because of big-budget and star-cast films releasing every week from next week onwards.

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