Film: Double Di Trouble
Cast: Dharmendra, Gippy Grewal, Minissha Lamba, Kulraj Randhawa, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Poonam Dhillon
Director: Smeep Kang
First it was Carry On Jatta, then Lucky Di Unlucky Story and Bhaji In Problem, and now Double Di Trouble. Smeep Kang is one director who is reshaping the market for Punjabi cinema with his quirky stories. Interestingly, this time he has chosen William Shakespeare as his source of inspiration. One of Shakespeare's most read and critically analysed plays The Comedy of Errors forms the base of Double Di Trouble (DDT).
Surprisingly enough, Double Di Trouble is Dharmendra's first Punjabi film, given the cult status he enjoys in Punjab.
There are spoilers ahead, so you're requested to come back to this article after watching the film. Thanks if you're still proceeding.Watch: Double Di Trouble trailer
However, more than the play, DDT is based on Gulzar's amazingly funny 1982 film Angoor. The film picks its characters from Gulzar's film and modifies them into a group of dangerously innocent group of Punjabis. The trick to handle such films lies in the subtlety of the screenplay because you need to remember all the character graphs in their entirety. Also, while shooting different scenes, the director is required to maintain a clear-cut demarcation among characters. Due to the fact that such films involve more than one actor playing the double role, the storyteller has to be careful for the repetition of dialogue and gestures. If repetition happens then the audience will simply not believe the constructed reality. Yes, it's true that Smeep Kang had already got the canvas of the story, but he had to recreate the premise in an authentic manner. He emerges as a successful director in this regard.
Gippy Grewal became an artist to watch out for with his first album Chakkh Lai in early 2002 only. He went on to produce popular albums such as Phulkari and Chandi De Challe before entering into the world of Punjabi films with Mel Karade Rabba in 2010. The super-success of Mirza, Carry On Jatta, Singh Vs Kaur and Bhaji In Problem has made him one of the most bankable actors in the Punjabi domain. With DDT, he has once again shown why he is called the future of Punjabi films.
Ajit Singh (Dharmendra) and Fateh Singh (Gippy Grewal) come to Chandigarh in connection with a court case without realising that their lookalikes - Manjit and Ekom - also live in the same city. Manjit's wife (Poonam Dhillon) wants a diamond ring as her marriage anniversary present and gets into a huge fight with her husband over the issue. Manjit vows to not come back home without a ring, but things take an unexpected turn when he is asked money for a ring which he has not even received. You got it. It's more of Angoor than The Comedy of Errors. Only this Punjabi version replaces the master-servant concept with a father-son duo.
The Comedy of Errors is not known for its in-depth conflict and it solely relies on quick witted reaction dialogues and hilarious situations. DDT does exactly this, and surprisingly it doesn't get dirty in the process like usual Punjabi movies. The presence of a veteran like Dharmendra at the helm of affairs helps the film immensely, and Gippy Grewal plays a second foil to him. Their comic timing is good and Dharamendra doesn't overshadow Gippy. Yes, the double role scenes look amateurish but overall DDT manages to tickle the funny bone.Also read: Double Di Trouble close to Chupke Chupke, says Dharmendra
DDT apperas like one of those films which have been made at a limited budget, but the tempo of the story never makes it boring.
Punjabi films have gained new markets in recent years with better production values and marketing strategy. DDT is likely to give impetus to this trend.
I agree it's not Angoor, but it's worth watching for sure. Also if you're a Gippy fan, you'll be surprised to see how much he has improved. This film is recommended if you understand Punjabi.