''Abey dekh kya raha hai, isko boltein hai Judwaa, Hello brother how are yoI'' (rough translation: what are you looking at, this is called twins, how are you brother) - This dialogue from the 1997 blockbuster JUDWAA starring Salman Khan and helmed by David Dhawan haunted me again and again as I left the theatre watching the new-age or call it multiplex version of JUDWAA - JUDWAA 2 after 20 years. The 1992 Jackie Chan's TWIN DRAGONS which inspired the 1994 Telugu movie HELLO BROTHER starring Nagarjuna also inspired a Kannada movie CHELUVA (1997) before Salman khan's JUDWAA conquered the Bollywood box office in 1997.
Those who have seen JUDWAA know why it was made and to whom was it targeted, it seems the same logic has been applied by the makers in adapting this late 90's no brainer entertaining action musical after 20 years in today's times (who said change is the only thing constant, think again) and having Varun Dhawan in lead. Has Varun Dhawan managed to get into the huge shoes of Salman Khan in JUDWAA 2, let's figure out?
It doesn't matter whether JUDWAA is worth a remake or not, when you can have remakes of Jeetendra Sridevi's HIMMATWALA after 30 years by Sajid Khan backed by a top banner like UTV Motion Pictures then it's not a surprise that a much better filmmaker or say entertainer than Sajid Khan in David Dhawan to pick a better one from the genre and rehash it starring his son to be backed by another corporate like Fox Star Studios.
Fortunately for Varun Dhawan, in spite of being the son of David Dhawan, good looks, his acting calibers are beyond his looks, Bollywood connection and that six pack abs but unfortunately, papa David Dhawan is unable to see beyond his all-time favorites - Govinda and Salman in his actor son Varun and is gung ho in presenting a new age Govinda and Salman to the industry. David Dhawan succeeded to an extant in MAIN TERA HERO which fuelled further courage in the entertainer of the 90's to go for the JUDWAA remake. Repeating a line that gets repeated in the film again and again - 'main seedha point pe aata hoon' (will come straight to the point) and talk about JUDWAA 2.
JUDWAA 2 is that emoji which is searching for expressions... I mean it's designed for today's youth but bears the sentiments of the cliche 90s. The reboot of 1997 JUDWAA 2 begins with conjoined twins having similar reflexes - Prem and Raja (Varun, doing a double) separated at birth in Mumbai. Raja grows up to be the street smart 'tapori' while Prem is a 'chasma' wearing piano playing simpleton in London. Charles (Zakir Hussain) is a smuggler responsible for the separation, both Prem and Raj find their friends, enemies and love Alishka - (Jacqueline Fernandez) and Samaara (Tapsee Pannu) and what happens when their path cross.. tan tana tan tan tan tara..
So, in the desire to earn some extra bucks in the name of entertainment that tries to cash on the four day long Dussera weekend, JUDWAA 2 tries all the tried and tested buffoonery and logic defining stunts as gags seen in 1997 and in such genres. In this age when we see Bollywood celebrities talking seriously on women empowerment, equal rights and all. Slapping a women's butt continues, a girl gets kissed forcibly and a bunch of dark men are called by the names of famous West Indies cricketers like Gayle, Bravo (by the way, this one was not in the 1997 version) in this movie. Congratulations. Tan tana tan tan tan tara.
Digging further, David Dhawan new age JUDWAA 2 finds itself falling short of giggles, so it tingles SRK, Akshay Kumar and 3 Idiots for laughter but the spoof falls flat. The humour is scattered in bits and pieces. Yes such genre requires logic to be left outside the theatre but still the writing lacks originality and when we see those outdated jokes circulated on social media get repeated as a gag in the film, it turns out to be a put off. The 'Kabul' joke is just one example.
The writers Yunus Sajawal and Farhad Samji who have entertained earlier fail to impress this time. David Dhawan narration is far from his known element, the veteran laugh doctor has shockingly failed to deliver on the expected lines. The omission of Raja's sister character and a weak choice of Vivan Bhatena for the role played by Mukesh Rishi in 1997 JUDWAA, adds more salt, pepper and chutney to the agony. Slight changes have been done but it fails to work.
Varun Dhawan remains the biggest highlight and the reason to make you sit through. We know he is beyond imitating Govinda, Salman and here he does an SRK which a section may enjoy but that's not his worth (tan tana tan tan tan tara,, kya kare varun bechara). However, his act as Raja is more entertaining and that will make his fans especially the young lot happy. Unsolicited advice - Varun Dhawan should follow his own identity and not fall under any pressure to be termed as a replacement of Govinda and Salman.
Tapsee Pannu is decent and looks gorgeous but she could have easily said 'No' to this after doing PINK and NAAM SHABANA. As far as Jacqueline Fernandez is concerned if you have seen her on her social media handles then you don't need to watch the film especially for her.
The background gives the deja vu of the 1997 JUDWAA (especially the flute) and it's the best part after Varun Dhawan in the film. Musically, the songs Chalti Hai Kya and Oonchi Hai building are forced. Rest of the songs by Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros & Sandeep Shirodkar are functional.
Technicalities are fine with rich production values. Ayananka Bose cinematography is glossy.
Supporting actors - Anupam Kher is fine as Jacqueline father, Rajpal Yadav (He is the tapori varun's friend - the character played by Shakti kapoor earlier and he repeats himself) Johnny Lever (does good in one scene), Upasana Singh is okay as Tapsee's aunt (the character played by Bindu earlier), the character of Pawan Malhotra is reduced to a typical Indian cop accompanied by a women colleague who is deliberately kept fat to evoke laughter. Sachin Khedekar as papa is alright. Ali Asgar as doctor is wasted, Vivan Bhatena fails to impress, Mohan Joshi is strictly okay.
All said and done, I conclude by recollecting the scene from the movie's climax where Salman khan makes his grand cameo in a double role. Both the judwaas - Salman and Varun make a jig at 'tan tana tan tan tan tara', Varun says very good and asks Salman to do it once again, Salman Khan obliges, Varun asks for 'tibara' (third time) Salman Khan disappears.. TAN TANA TAN TAN TAN TARA..kya kare Varun bechara..
(In festive mood and love for Varun Dhawan)