Varun Dhawan, Taapsee Pannu and Jacqueline Fernandez in a still from Judwaa 2.
Varun Dhawan, Taapsee Pannu and Jacqueline Fernandez in a still from Judwaa 2.

Judwaa 2 movie review: Doesn’t make much sense but Varun Dhawan is Salman Khan 2.0

In Judwaa 2, Varun Dhawan plays the roles of Raja and Prem, like Salman Khan in Judwaa, but Taapsee and Jacqueline aren’t called Mala and Rupa like Karisma Kapoor and Rambha. Here’s our movie review.
By Rohit Vats | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 30, 2017 06:03 PM IST

Judwaa 2
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Taapsee Pannu
Director: David Dhawan
Rating: 2/5

Dua aur muah (kiss) me yaad rakhna.

Salman Khan’s Judwaa (1997) wasn’t a great film, but it has nostalgia attached to it. This is why most of us were keen on seeing how close Varun Dhawan gets to Salman Khan in Judwaa 2. He doesn’t disappoint. The film also entertains without making a demand on your mental faculties. However, your ability to watch it twice or not will depend on your appetite for slapstick.

Watch: Our Facebook Live discussion on Judwaa 2

A smuggler called Charles (Zakir Hussain) kidnaps one of the conjoined twins of the Malhotra family right after their birth. They grow up as Raja and Prem (both played by Varun Dhawan) who live in Mumbai and London respectively. They behave in a similar fashion whenever they’re in proximity, which means they’ll spank women and try to forcibly kiss them. A doctor in the film describes it as one in eight million cases, and actually pinches a kid to demonstrate his theory. As if we are looking for logic in such a film.

You know David Dhawan’s cinema. It mostly works on clichés, so nobody is surprised when a supposedly Christian character in the film says, “Hum god se tumhare liye prarthana karega.”

Later, a shirtless Prem gets ragged at a Britain college, because why not? There’s a reason why people sweat in gyms to get six-pack abs. You remember the background score ‘Wicked Sunny’ from Mujhse Shaadi Karogi? Here, it’s ‘Nanga Prem.’ Never mind.

Soon, the two heroines, Alishka (Jacqueline Fernandez) and Samara (Taapsee Pannu), join junior Dhawan and raise the temperature. By now, it’s all gloss and punchlines.

How?

Consider this:

Somebody asks Upasana Singh, Taapsee’s mother in the film, whether she knows music. She replies, “Sa re ga ma Amitabh Bachchan.”

Why? Because Pa! Get it?

Soon after this or maybe before, who cares, Upasana Singh looks happy when Prem brings an unconscious Samara to her house. She chirps, “Tumne aisa kya kiya jo ye behosh ho gayi!” Don’t roll your eyes just yet. This happens when Dhawan’s character kisses both mother and daughter because his twin is also doing the same somewhere nearby.

Ah, it’s so original.

From 1997 to 2017, what has not changed at all in this film is its inherent misogyny and racial jokes. They come at you one after another, without a pause.

But you laughed in Judwaa! Well, you may laugh this time as well. I never said it’s completely unfunny, and there are other gags that totally work.

Take a look at this conversation:

Raja: Afghanistan ka capital kya hai?
Alishka: Kabul (Read it in Jacqueline’s voice).
Raja: What?
Jacqueline: Kabul, Kabul.
Raja: Al habibi, aaloo bukhara main tumhara.

It happens with so much spontaneity and energy that you laugh. At least, I laughed.

It’s absurd when a psychiatrist examines and tells Varun Dhawan, “Aapko split personality disorder bilkul nahi hai.” This doctor is played by Ali Asgar. You may laugh now. This is Judwaa 2’s strength. Director David Dhawan has cast right actors in right roles. That reminds me, the film also has Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Vivan Bhatena and Pawan Malhotra. Some solace there.

Coming back to the jokes, consider this:

Vivan Bhatena loses his memory just like that and Varun Dhawan says, “Iska memory card ud gaya hai.” To which, Rajpal Yadav adds, “Matlab Ghajini ho gaya hai.”

Watch: A glossy affair in Aa toh sahi from Judwaa 2

Or, this one:

Prem: I am his lookalike (lookh-a-alike).
Pawan Malhotra: Tu wo lukhkha (useless) hai jo kisi bhi layak nahi hai.

But this scene takes the cake:

Some people mob Varun Dhawan in London. Varun punches one of them and that guy calls out for his friends, “Gayle, Pollard, Bravo come.”

They all arrive and suddenly start signing DJ Bravo’s song ‘Champion, champion.’

Trust me, it’s hilarious.

The onus is on Varun Dhawan to step into Salman’s shoes and he does that. He appears to be enjoying the PJs. You may have objection to the content, but this is nothing other than what they promised in the trailers.

However, both Jacqueline and Taapsee have been reduced to mere glamour elements. Jacqueline dances on her own songs and Taapsee keeps jumping into the pool. But to their credit, they try their best to support Varun Dhawan in making a joke work.

Judwaa 2, like the original, isn’t a piece of art, in fact it’s mediocre, but it’s that one film which may lift your mood. At 149-minutes, this slapstick comedy has some really laugh-worthy moments.

Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha

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