Planet Bollywood
Deewane Huye Paagal
 
Producer: Firoz Nadiadwala
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Shahid Kapur, Rimi Sen, Sunil Shetty.
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 25 November 2005
Reviewed by: Shahid Khan  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.09 / 10 (rated by 412 viewers)
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After twenty minutes, I was desperately itching to get out of the cinema hall. Viveik Anand Oberoi’s trite introduction does not do the film many favours (if you’re wondering who he is, some of you may know him better as Vivek Oberoi).

It took a while but I eventually began to warm to Vikram Bhatt’s latest film. Unlike the disappointing “Garam Masala”, “Deewane Huye Paagal” unabashedly explores the comic talents of Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal to the hilt. The other common link, Rimi Sen, too has a tad more to do here.

Vikram Bhatt lives up to his image of the Hollywood DVD man and this time has referred to the popular comedy, “There’s Something About Mary”. A few scenes are lifted gag for gag and Bhatt is still confident enough to steer the story onto its own track and to its logical, or illogical, conclusion. Rimi Sen as Tanya is the Mary of this particular story and has to put up with a large band of admirers – Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapur, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty, and Asrani et al. All the admirers con and double cross each other to win Tanya’s heart and love… until it all comes to a head and she has to choose one of them.

Don’t

go looking hard for logic or common sense; this is one of those brainless comedies. However, it teeters on the right side of brainless and provides a few laughs. “Deewane Huye Paagal” is a masala potpourri of the entertaining kind – the kind that other directors like David Dhawan and Priyadarshan have forgotten how to make. Vikram Bhatt succeeds in stirring the mixture – a blend of affectionate masala spoof, action and crazy love triangles – with each ingredient balanced in just the right doses.

The downside is the dreadfully unappealing music. The Anu Malik wailing scores are so bad that I wish that the editor had the sense to delete them all and turn this into a song-less movie. Even Viveik Anand Oberoi (some of you may know him better as Vivek Oberoi) gets to render a number and his narrator dialogues are rather cheesy and absurd. Shah Rukh Khan in “Silsiilay” had more charm as a narrator. ‘Arrive late and leave early’ is my advice for audiences at the cinema. The introduction crams far too much information into the first ten-fifteen minutes. I felt envious of the latecomers who had, to their benefit, missed much of the constipated beginning.

Another quibble is the mocking of mental and physical impairments. When we have films like “Black” and “Iqbal” that have come up with groundbreaking and sensitive insights into the situations of characters with disabilities, “Deewane Huye Paagal” exploits it to create some deplorable humour. This was always going to be an issue when adapting “There’s Something About Mary” and the writer, Neeraj Vohra, should have done his best to avoid it.

Akshay Kumar is just fabulous, as is Paresh Rawal also, in their scenes of comic planning and far-fetched manipulation. They have more freedom here whereas in “Garam Masala” they were restricted by the manic ‘revolving doors’ setting of the plot. Shahid Kapur is endearingly natural in his role of a lovesick puppy. These three stand out the most but the rest of the cast provide solid support.

Instead of distracting from the story, the entrance of burlesque and parodic villains (headed by Om Puri) pushes the film towards the climax. The sudden swarming of many bikers on the desert comes out of nowhere but it is entertaining to watch and sets up a satisfying scenario where all the characters come together.

After a lacklustre year of movie drivel, Vikram Bhatt redeems himself by ending the year with a solid yet brainless entertainer.

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