Cast: Dharamendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kuljeet Randhawa
Director: Samir Karnik
Clocking in at almost three hours, Yamla Pagla Deewana is an exhausting but occasionally enjoyable comedy that only takes flight after intermission.
The film's harebrained plot involves Sunny Deol as Paramveer, an NRI in Vancouver, arriving in Benares to reunite with his father and brother from whom he has been estranged for thirty years. His search leads him to lovable con-artist Dharam (played by the actor's own father Dharmendra), and his accomplice-son Gajodhar (played by Bobby Deol). Before you know it Paramveer has volunteered to make a trip to Punjab to help his brother win back his sweetheart from her hotheaded brothers who're holding her captive.
Packed with loud jokes, gratuitous item songs, a Priyadarshan-esque climax, and completely over-the-top fight scenes, this film knows exactly who its audience is and doesn't shy away from wooing them. Fans of Sunny Deol are likely to cheer when the actor lets out that deafening roar in the film's climax, which sends both the good guys and bad guys flying to the end of the room. It's his Dabangg moment, and Sunny steps up to it sportingly. He is in fact the best thing about this loosely written film, that has at least a few good jokes that stick.
Like Poli the sardarni (played by Sucheta Khanna) who can barely speak any English but has studied everything there is to study about Canada, and hopes to marry an NRI someday.
Much of the real humor in this film is derived from the in-jokes. Bobby Deol gets to say: "Dharam, tu toh bahut bada kameena hai" at least a few times, and oddly it brings a smile to your face every time he says it. Or Dharmendra's love for the bottle, another nudge-nudge-wink-wink moment that is hard to resist.
Alas, director Samir Karnik doesn't know when to pull the brakes. The film hurtles along endlessly, and well overstays its welcome. The emotional scenes are cheesy, and Bobby's romantic scenes quite needless.
It's fun in parts but tires you out by the time it finally comes to an end. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five for Yamla Pagla Deewana. If you're a fan of the Deols and you enjoy old-fashioned masala entertainers, give it a chance. But the Deols can do better than this!
Rating: 2.5 / 5