Planet Bollywood
Hulchul
 
Producer: Ganesh Jain, Ratan Jain
Director: Priyadarshan
Starring: Akshaye Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Arshad Warsi, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Amrish Puri, Lakshmi, Arbaaz Khan, Manoj Joshi, Farha, Shakti Kapoor.
Music: Vidyasagar
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: General
Approximate Running Time: 165 mins
Film Released on: 26 November 2004
Reviewed by: Shahid Khan  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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"HULCHUL" IS PRIYADARSHAN┬┤S LATEST COMEDY AFTER HITTING THE BULL┬┤S EYE LAST YEAR WITH "HUNGAMA".

"Why are you shouting?" I hear you ask. Maybe I have caught the bug from the cast in this film who seem to love shouting the house down in the dramatic scenes.

The story: Two families are at loggerheads with each other in a village. The feud has been boiling up for years owing to a past tragedy. One family is headed by Angaarchand (Amrish Puri) while the matriarch of the other parivaar is Lakshmidevi (Laxmi). Angaarchand and his sons (all played by Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal, Akshaye Khanna and Arbaaz Khan) have vowed to stay away from women. Women are not even allowed to step into their household and the mere mention of them is banned in family conversations.

Lakshmidevi is still looking for the moment where she can exact her revenge on Angaarchand and his family. So the loony lady gets her granddaughter Anjali (Kareena Kapoor) to enact a farce of declaring love to Jai (Akshaye). This way, Anjali can break his heart and drag his family┬┤s name through mud. Suspicious Jai is persuaded to enact the same farce by his best friend, Lucky (Arshad Warsi) just to bring Anjali into disrepute. You won┬┤t be surprised to read this but the two do genuinely fall in love, which makes things just a little little bit complicated.


The part where the main characters do actually fall in love and go against the scheming plans of the hard-faced grandmother does have shades of the old classic, "Mr. and Mrs. ┬┤55", starring Guru Dutt and Madhubala. Lalita Pawar played the role of the manipulative grandmother in that comedy yarn and her performance is much superior to the woeful acting abilities displayed by Laxmi. Laxmi (who was the one hit wonder actress of the 1970┬┤s with "Julie") appears to be determined to assault the audience┬┤s hearing abilities with her senseless yelling. She is not the only one as Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Amrish Puri and even Asrani join her to form the screaming mob.

Such loud noise and overacting does tend to dilute the impact of some of the witty scenes. A similar problem was displayed in Priyadarshan┬┤s earlier "Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar". Another flaw that both the films share is the overload of too many supporting characters. But it┬┤s not all bad news as there are parts to devour in all this hulchul. Jai and Anjali┬┤s romance farce is amusing to watch especially in the song "Rafta Rafta" where both show their two-faced demeanour. The whole "Bobby" episode is superbly directed and I loved the way the start of the song "Hum Tum Ek Kamre Main Band Ho" is used to tally with the farcical turn of events. Another comical delight is the whole mandap climax where everyone chases after the mangal-sutra to prevent Anjali and Jai from getting married!

Going back to "Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar", both films also share an uneasiness of trying to balance between comedy and tragedy. Tragedy takes over in the second half of both the screenplays and the films end up being not as compelling as they should be. Going by how the promos are claiming "Hulchul" should make it a hat trick of successes for Priyadarshan after "Hera Pheri" and "Hungama", it is obvious that everyone has forgotten the failure "YTGYMG" (that film that came between "Hera Pheri" and "Hungama"). "Hulchul" will most likely not end up as that ┬┤forgotten failure┬┤ because it is a touch superior. Yet it falls short of the standards set by those two "H" comedies.

As for performances, Akshaye Khanna and Kareena Kapoor are likeable and charming. Both display an affinity for comedy while emoting well in the serious scenes. As usual, both Paresh Rawal and Arshad Warsi create much hilarity with their wonderful comic timing. In order to keep a balance between both the comedy actors, Warsi dominates the first half while the second half has been given to Rawal. Out of the supporting actors, Jackie Shroff and Sunil Shetty (who plays the brother of Kareena Kapoor┬┤s character) leave the most impact. Amrish Puri typically hams it up. Arbaaz Khan doesn┬┤t have much to do. After bringing back the screen vamp of the 1980┬┤s, Shoma Anand, in ÔÇťHungamaÔÇŁ, Priyadarshan has now re-introduced Farha. Her unsubtle acting reminds you why she went away in the first place.


The music by Vidyasagar is so-so. "Dekho Zara Dekho" and "Rafta Rafta" are the pick of the lot. Actually, portions of the picturisation of "Dekho Zara Dekho" are very Priyadarshan-like in terms of style. He abandoned this type of style a long while ago but it resurfaces again in this song. It is imaginative and very campy with Kareena running away like a damsel. The placing of the songs is very uneven. Three songs come in quick succession and then the next one does not come for what seems like eternity. Some of the lines are droll and credit goes to KP Saxena for the dialogues.

"Hulchul" is a mixed affair. It is worth watching once just to chuckle at the funny bits but the movie is not one that you will want to view again in a hurry.

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