Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se
Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kriti Kharbanda
Director: Navaniat Singh
Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se is like one of those party jokes which you anticipate will entertain you, but instead leave a bad taste in your mouth when someone actually blurts it out. The Deols are back with one more attempt at slapstick comedy with the focus firmly fixed on ‘daaru’, ‘Punjabi’ and ‘dhai kilo ka haath’ jokes.
The first film of the series in 2011 worked because there was an indigenous charm to it. The whole Canada-Punjab-Benares set up offered enough to the audience. The Deols cast their charm and, overall, it managed to make us laugh. There was a spontaneity to it.
A lot has changed in seven years. The Deols have done a couple of more films together to dilute the interest of watching them perform together, and their mojo is also lost. Though Sunny and Bobby Deol gave us a glimpse of how crazy it could be with them together in 2017’s Poster Boys, this time they seem trapped more in the burden of making a silly yet comic film, than actually making it.
It had to be a place in Punjab, so Amritsar fetches the director Navaniat Singh’s attention. Puran Singh (Sunny Deol) is a local favourite, beloved for his knowledge of Ayurveda, while his brother Kaala (Bobby Deol) is hell bent on maligning the family’s reputation. Of course, this is meant in a funny way, at least this is what the director intended in the beginning.
They come to loggerheads with a big pharmaceutical giant Marfatia (Mohan Kapoor) who wants to buy a secret medicinal formula from Puran. After a couple of scuffles in which nearly a 100 people lose to Sunny Deol’s screaming, the case reaches the court where advocate Parmar (Dharmendra) pleads on behalf of the brothers.
There is some promise in the beginning. Dharmendra talks to invisible women, Sunny blasts pillars with his punches and Bobby grooves to the surprisingly melodious tune of Nazarbattu (sung by Sachet Tandon). In short, the ‘90s nostalgia is back, but it becomes troublesome when you keep soaking in reflected glory of the past for the next 40 minutes. Where is the new film, you wonder!
A predictable storyline is least of the problems with Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se. The actors are trapped in their own images while the viewers have probably moved on. The jokes start to fall flat and scenes get stretched for no apparent reason. The proceedings become so lackluster that by the time the climax arrives, you have had at least five re-runs of it in your head. You’ll also miss the freshness and impeccable performances of secondary characters; the way they added value to the proceedings in the first film was praise-worthy.
The second film also suffered due to an absurd central theme and an omnipresent monkey. You wouldn’t believe how out of place it was till you watch the second film of the franchise. Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se isn’t as bizarre as Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, but it’s nowhere close to the fun quotient of Yamla Pagla Deewana either.
You’ll need a couple of popcorn boxes to munch on, but more than that, you’ll need Himalayan patience to sit through this 147-minute of convoluted mess.