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Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Shaukeens (2014)

Towards the end of The Shaukeens, there is a scene wherein Ahana (Lisa Haydon) has landed a plump role in an Akshay Kumar movie and is struggling with that evergreen dialogue, “Mein Tere bachche ki maa ban ne waali hoon”.  It is supposed to be a scene wherein she is acting in a manner that she doesn’t know how to act.  Little did she realize that it came naturally to her.


Abhishekh Sharma’s first movie was the very entertaining Tere Bin Laden from around four years ago.  A good movie is supposed to set the benchmark for the ones that follow. More often than not, movie makers (and cast and crew alike) fall into a trap of working in the shadow of their previous work.  Easier said that done – the job of shirking off baggage (easiest for us critics) – but unfortunately true.

I have to say this with a heavy heart that Sharma’s remake of the 1982 Basu Chatterjee classic compels me to ask for a body / committee that oversees remakes – Just so that there can be a semblance of respect given to the existing piece of work.  Sadly, my repeated requests on this count will fall on deaf ears.

The premise of The Shaukeens is similar to the original that missed an article and was in a singular form.  It is about three men in the twilight of their life – Laali (Anupam Kher), Pinki (Piyush Mishra) and KD (Annu Kapoor).  The first is frustrated with his wife (Rati Agnihotri) who refuses to have sex with him.  The second is a widower and the third is a horny 60+ bachelor.

Their plans to take a break and visit Bangkok (with an excruciatingly corny reference to both syllables) go bust.  The typical Delhi family has an aneurysm when they so much as suggest the 2 syllable taboo city.  So, the next plan would be to move the party to Mauritius – not the best tourism advertisement thanks to a line that calls the African island just a more polished cousin of the South East Asian haven.

Anyways, our heroes find themselves a home exchange with Ahana.  But Ahana has a silly break up with her boyfriend and comes back home.  The old hags are of course super excited and spend the rest of their time trying to fix opportunities so that Ahana can meet Akshay Kumar (himself) who is shooting in Mauritius at the same time for – Teri Meherbaniyan.

They say that The Shaukeens has dialogue and screenplay written by Tigmanshu Dhulia.  It only makes you feel even more let down.  Two talented people – Dhulia and Sharma – put together, could not find a way to improve the quality of humour or get Lisa Haydon to act (AK also).  Thank goodness for the 3 oldies.  It would have been disastrous but for them.  4 on 10.  Don’t bother with the screen.  Download / TV Zindabad!!!!

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