Rohit Jugraj’s character driven comedy makes you laugh, but that’t not enough
Comedy has indeed come a long way. Given a chance, books can be written on how comedy as a genre has evolved over time. What’s sad that this genre now seems to have hit saturation stage. What Arjun Patiala should be lauded for is it’s clean humor without ever going cheap and vulgar. It does make you laugh here and there. But is that enough for you to like the film? Certainly not.
Earning a position for himself through Karate sports quota, Arjun Patiala (Diljit Dosanjh) is the newly recruit Sub-Inspector in the Ferozpur division of Punjab Police. The constable is unintentionally funny Onidda Singh (Varun Sharma) who is in love with a buffalo after 35 failed love affairs. On one hand Arjun falls in love with pretty and gutsy journalist Ritu Randhawa (Kriti Sanon), he is also out to fulfill the dream of DSP Gill (Ronit Roy) of a crime free district.
Written by Ritesh Shah and Sandeep Leyzell, the film has a very basic plot, which largely suffers due to poor treatment. The characters here are a part of a film script being written and while the story takes place, it is shown that the film is being shot.
The makers have tried to include many elements in attempt to make you laugh, that the story doesn’t even have a track. There’s a quirky policeman, his freakish sidekick, some small time goons, an important journalist, and an item number by Sunny Leonne; all topped with situations that seem a burden after a point.
The film brings on board remarkable talent in form of cast, but the makers don’t give them scope to perform. All of them thus end up becoming caricatures. The film evidently tries really hard and that too earnestly to justify the genre by giving you moments to enjoy and laugh. It does so in decent amount of run time. But at the same time, you are just laughing at individual scenes and not the film as a whole.
The first half here scores more; the characters are set up and situations are woven. But the second half seems forced and convoluted as the film reaches the climax. The makers here resort to the same old formula of a comedy film climax where everything and everyone comes together in a misinterpreted scheme of things.
Diljit Dosanjh is sincere and honest to his character all throughout. Even off the films he has the power to make you laugh. He does his job well.
Varun Sharma as constable Onidda Singh however steals the show with his great screen presence. Also he has been given scenes and lines that make him outclass others. He gives you the best time among all.
Kriti Sanon looks beautiful but hardly contributes anything substantial in the plot. She suits the character and performs well. But it’s not a character very well written.
Seema Pahwa has done fine, but she’s capable of much more definitely. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, another actor with incredible caliber has his moments but you actually wanted more of him.
Ronit Roy, the only sane character in the lot of madmen (in a good sense), does well with his graph. He has fewer scenes to him but he makes you root for him. Pankaj Tripathi and Abhishek Banerjee in a special appearance are just okay, adding the face value.
Music by Sachin-Jigar is pretty average but does good for the film’s narrative. The background score by Ketan Sodha is good and makes the mood well for a major portion.
Sudip Sengupta’s camera does reasonably well given the scale and requirement of the film. It’s simple. Production design could be better in terms of the visual appeal the film aims to evoke. The film often looks bland; could be avoided.
Editing by Huzela Lokhandwala is okay, to say the least. The film doesn’t have any highs or lows. It’s a linear structure and the flow is decent. The inclusion of some random cut aways is good.
The film in it’s entirety would have made more impact had it not been a hotchpotch. Instead of putting in too much, a little more thought on the story elements would have made the film tighter. It’s the screenplay that didn’t work.