Recently, a fan trying to click a selfie with Sonu Nigam at a concert resulted in a major scuffle, a police case and made headlines for several days. Cricketer Prithvi Shaw is currently locked in a legal battle with a social media influencer, who got into a major fight with the player and allegedly vandalised his car after he refused to click selfies with her.
In the age of Instagram likes, the act of clicking a selfie with a star is a much more serious matter than it should have been. The fan assumes the right to demand, and the star seems to have no right to refuse.
These incidents have uncannily occurred very close to the release of the Raj Mehta-directed film, Selfiee, where a fan’s wish to spend 5 minutes with his idol and click one photo snowballs into massive drama played out in front of national media.
Selfiee - remake of Malayalam comedy-drama Driving Licence
The film is a remake of the Malayalam comedy-drama Driving Licence. I haven’t watched the original so I cannot comment on how good a remake this is. But it definitely has the Raj Mehta comedy signature all over. Selfiee is in the same space as his Good Newwz and Jugjugg Jeeyo - both popular comedies anchored on relevant issues.
RTO Inspector Om Prakash Aggarwal (Emraan Hashmi) is a huge fan of superstar Vijay Kumar (Akshay Kumar). But this fan turns foe when a small misunderstanding gets blown out of proportion. From then on, it becomes an ego tussle between a superstar and a common man, who take turns in outwitting one another.
Slapstick and forced comic situations notwithstanding, the film brings up some very relevant issues. Cancel culture, boycott Bollywood, fake social media trends, trial by media – the makers have packed in everything in order to make it a total entertainer. The two songs in the beginning and end credits are also engaging.
Selfiee - Funny dialogues, enjoyable moments
Selfiee is enjoyable in parts. Some dialogues will make you chuckle. Akshay gets a lot of screen space to flaunt his superstar swag, while Emraan Hashmi tries his best to look and sound believable as an RTO inspector in Bhopal. Unfortunately, the setting is too sanitised for him to look real. Nushrratt Bharuccha, Diana Penty, Adah Sharma have small parts to play. Why would an actor like Abhimanyu Singh take up the role of Suraj Dewan, beats me.
There are several exaggerations and over-dramatisations that the script depends on to take the story forward. If Om Prakash had spoken up at the very beginning, the issue would probably have been solved right there. But then, he wouldn’t have picked a fight to restore his self-respect and a dramatic battle with the country’s biggest star wouldn’t have ensued. And so, that logic has to be suspended.
Lot of real life references
The film does take a stand in favour of the film stars, to show how vulnerable their reputation is in the hands of the media and the public. At the same time, it also highlights the fickle-minded mob, which one day bays for blood and next day worships the same actor, as soon as he manages to gain some sympathy. When Akshay Kumar high-jumps into an angry mob to save Emraan Hashmi, the director makes it clear who the real hero is. It’s the star who wins, at the end of the day.
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