Updated on Aug 06, 2003 04:46 PM IST

Akshaye Khanna, Aftab Shivdasani, Rimi Sen, Paresh Rawal

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HT Image
PTI | ByVinayak Chakrovorty, **1/2

Move over David Dhawan, make way for Priyadarshan. The acclaimed South Indian filmmaker’s makeover as a peddler of fun out to woo the masses continues with Hungama.

He’s left his Sazaa-E-Kalapani days behind clearly, and with each of his last films (Hera Pheri, Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar) Priyadarshan has become the pallbearer of slapstick.

There’s a difference, though. Unlike Dhawan, Priyadarshan doesn’t go politically incorrect or unapologetically brash at the drop of a hat in his bid to tickle the funny bone.

Yet Hungama, his most frivolous cinematic attempt till date, is as peculiar and eccentric as the pool of plots and sub plots (there are so many in the film that one loses track) it unspools.

Get a hang of this mad maze. Sub plot 1: Anjali (Rimi Sen) needs a place to stay in Mumbai. She gets one, with a catch: she and Nandu (Aftab), an aspiring singer, must pose as a couple to move in as tenants. The two hate each other but decide to play along for a home.

Sub plot 2: Anjali needs a job. She gets one as a salesgirl in Jeetu’s (Akshaye Khanna) showroom. Jeetu takes her to be the daughter of the stinking rich Radheshyam Tiwari (Paresh Rawal) and falls for her.

Sub plot 3: Jeetu’s friend Anil (Sanjay Narveykar) loves the daughter of a local goon (Shakti Kapoor) and poses as the millionaire Tiwari’s son to win his girl.

Sub plot 4: After a wacky twist, Tiwari suspects his wife (who’s also called Anjali in the film) of having an affair with Jeetu, while the wife (Shoma Anand) thinks Anjali, who approaches Tiwari for a job, is having an affair with her husband. Beyond the royal tangle is your conventional triangle — soon, Nandu too falls in love with Anjali.

Forget logic, Hungama would have still worked if Priyadarshan didn’t drown himself in the sea of sub plots. The filmmaker rests solely on situational gags. They keep pouring non-stop, admittedly, but clearly that’s not enough.

Akshaye and Aftab are good but the surprise packet is debutante Rimi Sen. Paresh Rawal gets some great lines, but is also very, very loud at times. 

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