Directed by Rohit Dhawan
From the first frame to the last, Kartik Aaryan has himself a blast. He makes sure we forget the original as he launches into a celebration of pure tomfoolery.
The original Telugu film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo was very 1980s in theme. Writer-director Rohit Dhawan retains the flavour and energy of the original allowing Kartik Aaryan plenty of room to improvise. Kartik elbows out nearly all the characters. Except for Paresh Rawal, who plays the scummiest father on this earth, and not the least embarrassed about it. The rest of the characters are a blur in Kartik’s showmanship.
He is required to be a one-man show and still hold the show together. The orchestra conductor’s avatar suits him well. He is effective in both the comic and melodramatic moments.
Rohit Dhawan’s direction is fuelled by bombast. He creates a world that his father the irrepressible David Dhawan repeatedly created in the past where characters lurk in the bushes and show themselves for a few languorous laughs in a palatial setting with a staircase in the middle that seems to move upwards to nowhere. Talented comics Rajpal Yadav and Ali Asgar do their sketchy skits and vamoose.
It is an oldworld scenario, and Rohit and Kartik whip up a frenzy of delightful froth. Harmless fun meant to chase away our blues with a whoosh of silliness.
The supporting cast in this outlandish saga of swapped babies and genealogical contingency is interesting. But they needed to be better integrated into the spirit of celebratory familial ties. Ronit Roy and Manisha Koirala could have been given a front-row deal rather than being relegated to the back bench.
From the vast supporting cast , Paresh Rawal and Ankur Rathee stand out for their emphatically inimical characters which are played with great affection. Raathee , playing the flip side of Kartik’s karma, is an actor to watch.
As for Kartik, he spreads his natural unaffected charm all across the frames. Playing the son or the brother the bashful lover-boy or the holy dost, the film serves as an efficient showcase for his screen presence.
Oh yes, there is Kriti Sanon too. And the best comment on her presence in this pickled plot comes from Kartik: “Kabhi neeche bhi toh kapde pehan liya karo.”
Ms Sanon’s long legs do all the acting for her. And that’s not a bad thing.