“Arjun Patiala Diljit’s Fun Attempt At A Cop Comedy” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Our Rating

Arjun Patiala

Starring Diljit Dosanjh,Kriti Sanon,Varun Sharma

Directed by Rohit Jugraj

There is plenty that is wrong with this ostensible comedy. But somehow Diljit Dosanjh playing a goofy cop determined to rid his ilaaka of all crime and criminals, makes it all seem right even when the script (provided it ever existed) goes horribly askew.

Director Rohit Jugraj has had considerable experience in Punjabi films with Dosanjh. In Hindi, the Punjabi flavour gets tediously diluted rendering many of the jokes not only feeble but also fatuous.

What works is Dosanjh’s equation with his co-star Sanon. She plays a brassy bossy loud-mouthed teevee anchor, the kind we do know of and roll our eyes about. And she enjoys jabbering into the void that’s created by this film’s hairline plot. Whenever the lead pair comes together there is some kind of a crackling chemistry (at least that’s what I thought it was, unless it’s flatulence) ill-defined and unsupported by the too-clever-for-its-own-good script which takes potshots at the very conventions of a rom-com that it embraces.

By the time Sunny Leone (yes, she’s in it too!) shows up at Diljit’s thana speaking breathlessly in her own voice (yes, her OWN voice and not dubbed!) about her beauty parlour which she wants our khaki-clad hero to rescue from goons, we are placed in a state of giggly trance, the kind that occurs when you drink too much bhang during Holi and you are laughing at the stupid jokes being cracked, not because they are funny but because they’re trying to be funny.

Varun Sharma too has some funny moments with Diljit. But then the baby face always works in any situation, no matter how desperate.

Speaking of being funny, that actor par excellence Mohabbat Zeeshan Ayyub has for once forsaken his serious politically motivated image to play an out-and-out childlike psychopath called Sakool who is ruthless and risible at the same time. But the usually-editing Ronit Roy playing a zonked-out senior cop is wasted by a script that seems to rely almost wholly on the actors’ ability to improvise.

What was the need to format the screenplay as film-within-a-film? I mean, isn’t that sort of conceit a bit too much for a feather-light comedy to carry, unless the director wanted to bring in Pankaj Tripathy anyhow as a prospective producer who freaks out with joy on hearing the story that we see unfold. Alas, we are unable to share Pankaj’s excitement.

I think the actors got the point. That there is no point. If it wasn’t for Diljit Dosanjh, Arjun Patiala wouldn’t be worth a mention.

Our Rating

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