Pyaar ka Punchnama 2
Director: Luv Ranjan
Cast: Omkar Kapoor, Sunny Nijjar, Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sonalli Sehgal and Ishita Sharma
Pyar Ka Punchnama, Luv Ranjan’s 2011 film, was a pleasant surprise. Not only did it accurately portray the ignominy of average men in tempestuous relationships with superficial women, it did so with keen observations and razorsharp wit. The sequel, like most sequels, falls into the trap of trying to pump up the same formula on a bigger scale.
This time, the three boys — Gogo (Kartik Aaryan), Chauka (Sunny Singh) and Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) — are a bit more grown-up, but still fall in love, at the same time, with women who treat them like doormats. Once again the men break the fourth wall and wail about how messed up their lives are and how women can be beautiful but also devilish.
Unfortunately, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 , in its attempt to amplify the formula, turns what was well-meaning humour in the original into a mean-spirited gag fest.
The women in the first film were made fun of for their phony personas, in the form of diatribes from their hapless men. This time, the jokes become offensive bordering on misogynistic.
The men too are no longer Everymen; they look like hunky models, and behave like whiny teenagers. The women characters — Chiku (Nushrat Bharucha), Supriya (Sonalli Sehgal) and Kusum (Ishita Sharma) — are reduced to glamorous and flirtatious caricatures, evil for the sake of being evil. Gone is the sensitive and funny social commentary.
The clichés continue as the boys’ mothers arrive on the scene, offering respite as only mothers can, and suggesting this is the ultimate goal all women should aspire to — to become the lifelong refuge of a whiny, foolish man-child.
The jokes themselves are too juvenile to be amusing. The sequel is also louder than the original. The songs that were the least impressive part of Pyaar Ka Punchnama don’t get much better this time around.
And because the characters are caricatures, the performances are either unconvincing or over-the-top, rendering none of the six leads likable. The biggest void in this film is the absence of Liquid (Divyendu Sharma), who brought most of the laughs and most of the heart to the original as the conduit connecting the screenplay and the audience.
If you enjoyed Kapil Sharma’s Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, released earlier this month, you will probably enjoy the sexism of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. For the rest, I’d suggest you just pop in a DVD of the original and re-relish its simple pleasures.