I mean they’re making remakes of my films and I am not even dead yet – Norman Jewison
#TWINDRAGONS, a little known film of Chinese actor #JackieChan released in the year 1992 to a lukewarm response and that would have been the end of the story but for a filmmaker from Tollywood aka Telugu film industry who felt that the story of two identical twins had potential. He was right. The rehash, HELLO BROTHER which starred Telugu matinee idol #Nagarjuna smashed all box office records. Not to be left behind Bollywood came up with it’s own version simply titled JUDWAA. Starring Salman ‘Bhai’ Khan in a rare double role it also raked in the moolah. That was 1997. Now a full two decades later the same makers (producer #SajidNadiadwala & director #DavidDhawan) deem it fit to come up with (yet) another remake – JUDWAA 2.
Nothing new here. Two identical twins (Raja & Prem) separated at birth grow up living different lives. So you have Mister suave who has lived abroad all his life and the other is a #Tapori (Mumbaiyya slang for Slumdog) Till one fine day they accidentally end up swapping places and all hell breaks loose.
SCRIPT, SCREENPLAY & DIALOGUES
Over the last decade brothers and writers #Sajid-Farhad have built a reputation as the go-to men when it comes to penning comedies so much so that makers like Rohit Shetty (the #GOLMAAL franchisee) and Sajid Khan (the #HOUSEFULL franchisee) swear by them. And while watching JUDWAA 2 it is not difficult to see why. Even if you are a Bhai fan and might crib that Varun Dhawan is nowhere in comparison ten minutes into the film you will actually find yourself chuckling. And at slightly less than 150 minutes JUDWAA 2 is a breeze to sit through.
That director David Dhawan is an ace editor has always been an added advantage and it is no different with JUDWAA 2. Though the credits do mention Ritesh Soni the stamp of David all over is unmistakable. DOP Ayananka Bose’s pleasing work shows that David has grown as a technician. And like all Nadiadwala productions this one is lavishly mounted. The soundtrack credited to Sajid-Wajid uses a couple of tunes from the 1997 film which is a good thing. One wishes they had used ‘East or West India is the Best’ which was a personal favorite back then.
Like it’s predecessor JUDWAA 2 has several comic actors (Anupam Kher, Johnny Lever, Upasana Singh, Rajpal Yadav, Ali Asgar) but none of them really leaves a lasting impact and they are all strictly average. But it is a little disappointing to see the very talented Pawan Malhotra in a role that could have been essayed by any lesser actor. Those who have seen the earlier JUDWAA would know that the heroines had precious little to do and so it is with this one too. All through the film Jacqueline Fernandes seems to not know whether she is coming or going.
The very talented #TaapseePannu who wowed one and all with her bravura act in PINK makes the transition to what is a hardcore commercial film seamlessly. From wearing itsy-bitsy bikinis to full-on jhatka-matkas she does it all unflinchingly (After all the temptation to go through the motions must have been immense) Proving that a good actor is a good actor is a good actor. #VarunDhawan is the star of this enterprise. He knows it and revels in it. Though his father David would like to think that his son is #SalmanKhan & #Govinda rolled into one that is hardly the case. He is even all right in the role of the street smart ‘tapori’ but brings nothing to the other role. Yes he is very comfortable in front of the camera with all the trappings of a star not necessarily a good actor.
David Dhawan has been the ‘King of Comedy’ when it comes to directors in apna Bollywood and his association with actor Govinda (they have done a mindboggling 17 films together) is the stuff of legend. Sadly with the actor’s career nosediving in the last decade David has also struggled. Not surprising then that his last big hit, #PARTNER was a decade ago. With his favorite actor, Govinda (who else) Hopefully with JUDWAA 2 this talented director has found his ‘mojo’ again. With son in tow. This is not nearly his best but the (imminent) success of this film might just do the trick.
#JUDWAA2 is designed to be a full-on timepass film and to that extent it succeeds. This low brow comedy will not appeal to the discerning audience but it never was meant for them anyway. You will smile a lot throughout and occasionally break into a laughter even. Expecting anything more is foolhardy. This one is a sure shot for the 100 crore club.