June 07, 2013
Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Annu Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Neha Sharma, Kristina Akheeva, Johnny Lever, Sucheta Khanna
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
It’s not even a key moment in the film, but the image of Dharmendra and an orangutan riding a scooter, swaying joyously to the tune of Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge, is a fair representation of the standard of comedy in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. This intentionally harebrained sequel sees the Deols reprise their characters from the 2011 hit, but the laughs are fewer this time around because the novelty’s worn off and a strong sense of déjà vu hangs over the film.
Posing as a baba on the ghaats of Benares, con artist Dharam (Dharmendra), with the help of his son Gajodhar (Bobby Deol), fools unsuspecting disciples into parting with their riches. When they encounter wealthy London businessman Sir Yograj Khanna (Annu Kapoor), the father-son duo pose as millionaires themselves, and hatch a plan to wed Gajodhar with the rich man’s daughter (Neha Sharma). But their operation is nearly derailed by Dharam’s older son Paramveer (Sunny Deol), who is shocked to discover that his dad and his brother are still up to their old tricks.
The film’s potpourri of mad characters includes a self-obsessed villain named Dudeji (Anupam Kher) and his pair of costume-coordinated sidekicks (Johnny Lever and Sucheta Khanna). There’s also that previously mentioned orangutan, named Einstein, who develops a fondness for alcohol courtesy of Dharam, which in turn brings out the artist in him. Such is the puerile writing that in one of the film’s low points, Dharam recruits a female orangutan, dressed in a hot pink mini skirt and matching push-up bra, to seduce Einstein so he might be inspired to paint again.
To be fair, not all the humor is as tasteless, although it is consistently low-IQ. There are a few laughs to be had, particularly in the film’s first half via Dharmendra, who’s clearly having a good time delivering some cheeky lines and a handful of nudge-wink in-jokes. Sunny Deol, for his part, repeats the same ol’ shtick – he can vanquish an army of weapon-wielding ninjas but he can’t so much as confess his love for a girl. Bobby Deol nicely complements his father in the comic scenes, but his Salman Khan-fan routine is uninspired.
Directed by Sangeeth Sivan, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 isn’t all bad, but at 2 hours and 35 minutes it’s overlong and repetitive, and doesn’t offer anything particularly original or inventive in terms of comedy. I’m going with two out of five. It’s a pity the jokes run out faster than your popcorn does.
(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)