There is a new challenge for multi crore Telgu/Tamil remake movies. The challenge is to be innovative best in PJs (read Punjabi jokes) and drag them till you have a three hour footage of turbans, song n dance, swords play, and some silly horse and jeep chase.
Here’s how Son of Sardar adapted from Telgu film,Maryada Ramannna and Buster Keaton film “Our Hospitality” and loosely inspired by Romeo And Juliet, Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge; tries to innovate.
1.Romeo is a Sikh, known as Jassi (Ajay Devgn) who wants to make everyone happy and keeps saying to one and all.. “kabhi hus liya karo”. It doesn’t matter if his father, a sardar killed Sukh’s (Sonakshi Sinha)father in a dispute,left behind some property taken over by Sukh’sccousin, Billu( Sanjay Dutt).Billu has sworn not to marry his fiancé of 25 years(Juhi Chawla) until he kills the son of Sardar. Dutt’s only weakness is that he follows his family’s hospitality ethics of respecting a guest at his home. So Jassi flits between fear (lives inside with them, taking full advantage of hospitality ethics )and courage(occasionally fights like a Sardar who is equivalent to sawa lakh army of men).Hanging upside down on the entrance doorway to ward off swords, is one such innovation.
2. When Jassi first meets his dulhan to be, he reaches out from the doorway Dilwaale style as the heroine comes running after a train. His hand keeps slipping from her beautifully bangled one until he falls out. He has to work much less than Raj and Simran in the original in order to make the heroine fall for him. All he has to do is to get a coconut inside a train window grill. Tough task. There is some innovation here in coconut gifting.
3. Once the heroine’s heart has been won, the thinner than turban screenplay(Robin Bhatt,Ashwini DhIr,Shaheen Bhatt) becomes more challenging than ever. He is cornered by the enemies in their home turf. Now he has to save his life and win them over. He does that with ease, running around with a pickle jar, having a few drinks and interacting with enemy number one in long hair and black sherwani,Billu, with comments like ” aap truck ke piche likhi shayari acchi bolte hain”.
Ajay Devgn is quite at ease as Jassi in a turban, mouthing lines like “aap saabun se nahati hain ya cream se..” or juggling his muscular breasts prompting a line, ”ye sardaar apne than kaise hilata hai?”. Sanjay Dutt is better at being a dumb giant of a villain than he ever was as a hero. Sonakshi Sinha is decorative enough, flashing her large eyes around. Tanuja remains a complete wonder as she carries off the most ridiculous scenes with just a bright glint in her eyes. Juhi Chawla is bright and fun as always as the romantically cheerful fiancé waiting to marry Dutt.Salman Khan makes an entirely forgettable guest appearance.
Irshaad Kamil’s lyrics like “ yeh jo halki halki khumariya..” are a pleasant change.
Director, Ashwini Dhir has made “Atithi Tum Ghar Kab Jaaoge” before this and clearly believes his audience would rather laugh through PJs than sit at home during Diwali.
One would be better off, playing with tiny sparkling phooljhadis, turning them round and round. Now, innovate.