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Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011) - Movie Review

Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kulraj Randhawa, Nafisa Ali, Anupam Kher
Director: Samir Karnik

'Yamla Pagla Deewana' is a tribute to the three generations of Deols dominating the masses that make Bollywood what it is today! The evergreen Dharmendra, muscular son Sunny and cute boy Bobby represent three generations in Hindi cinema. The trio does deserve respect for their dedication to cinema, even if this flick does not measure up to the critics' yardsticks. 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' is hilarious, entertaining and a good journey down memory lane for the masses that might be Deol fans and families going to see it together.

The name 'Yagla Pagla Deewana' is borrowed from a song in a Dharmendra hit, 'Pratigygya,' in 1975. And, the movie marks half a century since 1960 when Dharmendra first appeared on screen. Director Samir Karnik creates a canvas that allows each of the three Deols to play up one's image and make fun of it. So Dharmendra is the lovable, flirtatious, often drunk conman father. Bobby is his younger son playing the romantic lover boy. And Sunny is the older, upright NRI son, who makes mince meat out of men.

A popular Indian film critic says the director and actors in the film seem to try to make up for not appearing onscreen for much of last year. It is a loooong film! The film is so scripted to give each Deol generation a chance to be a comic, toughie, sing and dance and be melodramatically emotional. Jasvinder Singh Bath writes a screenplay that might be tilted in favor of today's star Bobby. One wonders why through Bobby lacks expression then in the flick. If you are in for Deol-ment, 'Yagla Pagla Deewana' promises to regale you. But, it lacks luster in terms of being either an out-and-out comedy or a powerful drama or even an action packed thriller. It might deliver rollicking fun for the average Indian cine-goer or if you were watching this flick over cocktails and kitty party.

An upright NRI Sunny from Vancouver, Canada, comes to India to look for his father, Dharmendra, and his brother, Bobby, who were separated from him during childhood. Sunny finds them in Benares, earning their livelihood as petty thugs. The twist comes in when Sunny must help sort out kid brother's complicated love story by tackling the girl's (Kulraj Randhawa) tough brothers (Anupam Kher and the rest). This moves the location from the picturesque ghats of Benares to titillating Punjab - the land of the Deols!

The first half is slow and clumsy. But, in the spirit of masala films, one finds some relief (for those who might enjoy) in comedy and explosive Punjabi-ness. To this end, one must admit that thespian Dharmendra at his age steals the show with his Jat 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' act. This part includes the chartbusting item song, Tinku Jiya. Several critics do whisper to each other that the romantic scenes are a bore and the music, barring the title track and 'Charha De Rang', jarring. Stunts and action seem not the focus and even the climax fight is very, very formulaic. The second half saves the show.

'Yamla Pagla Deewana' may well be a medley of different films as it has several parallels in films of the 70's, 80's and even the 90's. Seems, the movie has been targeted at that segment of moviegoers who would love the effort. In fact, it is true that the film has several scenes that might tickle the masses and also bring out their tears. The cinematography of Kabir Lal is worth praise and dialogues are okay. Action sequences by Analarasu are mostly average.

In sum, the movie's success could lie in simply casting the Deols together and getting their dedicated fans into the seats in cinemas. Above it all, Dharmendra comes out shining, charming and endearing. Sunny and Bobby deliver their usual good. A gorgeous Kulraj is not bad at all in her debut. Anupam Kher delivers a lovable act. Nafisa Ali, Sucheta Khanna, Amit Mistry and the two child artists all do well. 'Yamla Pagla Deewana' has its target audience in the masses and this significant chunk of people should be able to carry this film to success. Overseas, the film should do well in U.K., U.S.A. and Canada. 

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