Two children, twins, orphaned as infants, brought up by relatives, drastically different as per traits of character. Karan is cool, easy-going. Charan is enviously calm, obedient to his parents. Karan likes to dress up like a dude, Charan is true to Punjabi traditions. If nothing, they’ve got one thing in common. Trouble! Karan loves Sweetie (Ileana D’Cruz) and Charan is going around with Nafisa (Neha Sharma). But Charan’s parents will either die or kill themselves if their daughter-in-law is anything but a ‘Sikhni’. Just when the two brothers are panting over the situation, enters Binkle (Athiya Shetty), Charan’s to-be wife. Staked relationships, boutique of family drama and humour which is arguable not at its best, are what form ‘Mubarakan’, Anees Bazmee’s latest offering.
This one isn’t something we’ve not witnessed before. The confusions, the carefully created mess and impulsiveness of certain characters are all familiar elements of comedies, at least the ones being made recently. However, handful of performers are who make ‘Mubarakan’ a bearable watch. Anil Kapoor is who we should name first; since he outshines everyone, and even Arjun Kapoor for that matter, when discussing an energetic screen presence. Anil urf Kartar chachu, is the only helpful uncle to both and is churning out random ideas to help his nephews and their troubled affairs. Anil’s characterisation isn’t extraordinary. But he adds such simplicity and joviality to it at the same time, that it’s a delight to look at him. Next is Ileana D’Cruz, with a decent presence and decent expressions. She has her compact character of a woman trying her best to be hitched to her boyfriend. She does her job nicely. We, however, expected better comic timing from Arjun Kapoor. While Charan’s calmness is what he strangely executes well, Karan’s over-energetic acts and weird PDA to Sweetie are what absolutely do not look genuine on him. But, the turn off is Athiya Shetty. Athiya had a microscopic appearance of around 2 minutes in first half, which manages to go up to around 25 minutes in the second half. But then, why doesn’t she act?! We also have to mention that Ratna Pathak Shah remained underutilised.
However, at the same time, sub-plots of ‘Mubarakan’ make us think. We, as audience, have probably become used to some convenient and unfair liberty of humour at times. That is why, subtle hints of patriarchy, community prejudice thrown by such films, often go unnoticed. Otherwise, a well-read Punjabi parking his car exactly where ‘No Parking’ is written, or an elderly woman being at her meanest best and getting away for the sake of her age isn’t exactly what our cinema should promote.
I remember reading Anees Bazmee’s statement a couple of days back. Films are a family-affair and should be kept ‘clean’ is what he believes. True to his approach which might have a few takers, 'Mubarakan’ contains no skin show, in fact no sign of physical intimacy.
What might further turn you off is the jumbling graph of humour. To be honest, we have seen better from Anees Bazmee, even in terms of wit and laughter. It does make you laugh, but in bits and pieces. One can’t put it across as an uninterrupted laughter riot.
Rather, production-wise, ‘Mubarakan’ is decent. It is well-shot, decently edited and is completed with peppy numbers.
Whether to watch or not? Take a call!