STARRING: ARJUN KAPOOR, ANIL KAPOOR, ILEANA D’CRUZ, ATHIYA SHETTY, RATNA PATHAK, PAVAN MALHOTRA
DIRECTOR: ANEES BAZMEE
Family entertainers if done right are the safest bet in the industry. And when Anees Bazmee who has made his career out of this genre gets it right then it is bound to be fun. Mubarakan is one such film done right. It is not perfect but entertaining for sure.
This is one of the rare comedies in Bollywood where the story is genuinely funny. It has its share of slapstick and buffoonery but most of the humor does come from the screenplay. The mainstay of the film is that the story is truly a wholesome family entertainer which does have a strong emotional core. It never goes into the territory of an all-out rib tickling comedy but keeps you constantly engaged with its well-intentioned drama and has its moments.
The relationship and conflict amongst the family is well depicted and does make a connect. This also gives the film some substance which diverts your attention from the hair thin and convoluted plot.
The story moves at a feverish pace and you are introduced to a host of characters and situations without much background. It takes time to get the hang of the myriad of characters but they are defined enough to make a connect with them and engross you in their journey. The whole first half is dedicated to the set up and here some of the jokes work and others are a miss. What keeps you hooked are some interesting dramatic sequences and the host of colorful characters.
Bazmee is a pro at this genre of situational comedy with many characters. And this time he is in form yet again. His biggest feat is creating well defined characters who have a varied range and are not one dimensional. At least most of them. He also strikes the balance just right between the drama and the comedy. Most of the film is immensely entertaining and fun but one wishes Bazmee would have been more consistent. There are some portions which do lack the energy and the dull moments stick out like sore thumbs. The run up to the climax is especially troublesome and drags. It is here that you become aware of the length of the film. The excessively melodramatic climax could also have been avoided.
Bazmee’s masterstroke is the film’s casting. He surrounds himself with some talented supporting cast which continually lift the energy of the film with their spirited performance. Ratna Pathak Shah and Pavan Malhotra get meaty roles and are top notch. Shah has brilliant comedic timing and shows one again why she deserves to be seen more often on the screens. The same can be said about Pavan Malhotra. Anil Kapoor delivers with his impeccable comic timing and steals the show at many occasions.
Arjun Kapoor attempts a full-blown comedy role for the first time and shines. His performance is perfectly toned and manages to create two well etched characters and impresses in both the roles. A well-rounded performance. The ladies have very little to do and amongst them Ileana shines through. Athiya delivers what is expected of her.
The music of the film is entertaining and fits the genre well.
Mubarakan is a well-made, well performed entertainer which is a “Time-Pass” in every sense of the word. Indeed, a jolly affair.