Judwaa 2 – A few things should have updated in 20 years

 

I really wanted to like Judwaa 2.  I had a blast watching the first Judwaa earlier in the week, starring Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor.  While Varun Dhawan gave 1000 percent to the double role, I just didn’t find it as funny.   Jackie Fernandez wasn’t given as much to do as Karishma.   Both she and Taapsee were treated like bimbos.

It was depressing to watch a scene of Varun smacking Jackie’s behind in a store.  Really?  You’re going for that same joke 20 years later?  And Taapsee gets kissed to the point she cries.  Again.  NOT FUNNY.

So much could have been done with this twin story.  It needed a better script.  One set in the 21st century.

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A Gentleman is Super fun!

A Gentleman was at first talked about as a sequel to Bang Bang.  It isn’t really, but it’s very similar in the tone and feel.  Which means that I liked it a lot.

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Siddharth Malhotra is great in the action scenes.  And I loved his dorky persona, too.  Lots of inside jokes about Desis in America.  The fight sequence in the middle of Home Depot cracked me up.

 

sidharth_malhotra_is_looking_smokin_hot_in_this_trailer_of_a_gentleman_980x457Jacqueline Fernandez is great at comedy.  I gained new respect for her from this film.  She also had a great American accent.  She doesn’t really get a big dance number, but she pole dances (!!!) in a song sequence at a karaoke bar.

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Jacqueline had great chemistry with Siddharth.  She’s got Guarav in the friendzone, and then is attracted to the exciting dangerous Rishi.

Basically if you like films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and True Lies, you’re going to like this film.  A Gentleman is just a fun action comedy.

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Dishoom – Varun shines in this enjoyable buddy cop action flick

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Dishoom was exactly what it was advertised to be — a silly fun somewhat comedic action flick.  Varun Dhawan and John Abraham are odd couple buddy cops directed by Varun’s brother Rohit Dhawan.  It wasn’t the greatest flick, but it was an enjoyable time pass.

John Abraham’s tough guy custom agent is introduced to us kicking a guy out of an elevator because the poor guy dared to ask him to not smoke.  Funny enough.  But the next scene was problematic, as Kathy of AccessBollywood.net points out.  John discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him, and holds a gun to her head to get the lover to come out of hiding.  Completely unnecessary.  There are plenty of other scenes to establish how John Abraham’s character doesn’t play by the rules, and this threatened violence against women is jarring and the one off moment of the movie.

The star player of the Indian cricket team has been captured in an unnamed Mid-Eastern country.  John is sent to solve the case and avoid an international incident.  Varun is a rookie cop not trusted with more than picking up the captains kids and groceries.  He’s an interesting character, a Muslim NRI who jumps at the chance to serve India even though he was born abroad.  (And in a running gag, he’s searching for a bride from India.)

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Basically, I think Varun Dhawan is the Zac Efron of Bollywood.  He’s fantastic with the music numbers, was introduced in a high school musical, and is trying to transition to more mature adult roles.  (And he has a nice six pack like Zac.)  But he’s still the young kid in this movie, an eager hyper puppy jumping around the stoic John Abraham.  He’s one of the best things about the movie, and I love his chemistry with John.

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The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense.   Villain Akshaye Khanna is angry at the cricket player for losing him money or not throwing a game.  Or something.  It doesn’t really matter.  It’s just fun to see Akshaye embracing character roles, and I welcome his return to Hindi films.  He’s sort of the Mark Strong of Bollywood (looks a bit like him, too.)

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Jacqueline Fernandez has a fun time as a thief who gets caught up in the plot.  She has a great number, sometimes dancing with Varun, and dancing mostly around John.

The cameos were some of my favorite moments.  Akshay is gay, super wealthy and sports a man bun.  He’s hysterical and obviously relishes playing against type.  This selfie with the cricket player is a highlight:

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Buddy cop films have a long tradition in Hollywood, with one suffering stoic partner and the hyper funny one.  There need to be more in Bollywood like this.  There’s so many super cop solo hero films, but having two leads play off each other is great.  Dishoom was a light fun summer flick.  But it could have been a bit better.  My attention lagged a bit in the second half.

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But the very end and the final credit song has the last fun cameo — Parineeti Chopra.  Loved their number together!

Three stars out of five.