As a director Anees Bazmee has dabbled in different genres but he is best known for the comedies he has made. Despite dealing in genres like romance (‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’, ‘It’s My Life’ – unreleased), thriller (‘Deewangee’, ‘Naam’ – unreleased), the director is remembered for making comedies like ‘No Entry’, ‘Welcome’, ‘Singh Is Kiing’, ‘Ready’ and ‘Welcome Back’, all of which raked in a lot of moolah at the box-office. Though the promos of his new film ‘Mubarakan’, starring Arjun Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty, have got a mixed response, one has decent expectations from the film as the director is a master in this genre.
After his elder brother (Sanjay Kapoor) and wife die in a road accident, Kartar Singh (Anil Kapoor), a bachelor residing in London, gives one of the two babies to his brother Baldev (Pavan Malhotra) and the other one to Jeeto (Ratna Pathak Shah). Twins Karan and Charan (Arjun Kapoor in a double role) are raised with a lot of love and affection by their foster parents. While the street-smart Karan grows up in suburban London, the mild-mannered Charan lives in Chandigarh, India. Karan has a girlfriend Sweety (Ileana D’Cruz) and Charan is in love with Nafisa (Neha Sharma). Jeeto wants her foster son to get married to Binkle (Athiya Shetty), daughter of Sandhu (Rahul Dev), whose family they share a very close bond with. Karan, who is unaware of the fact that Charan has a girlfriend, fixed him up with Binkle, so that he can avoid getting married to Binkle.
‘Mubarakan’ is essentially a comedy of errors; mistaken identities, confusion arising out of miscommunication – one has seen such elements being used to great effect in several films that have served us dollops of laughter. The first half of the film is funny and is filled with several twists and turns that keep you thoroughly entertained. The characters of Karan, Charan and Kartar Singh are nicely etched out and each of them has certain characteristics or quirks that result in a bunch of funny moments. While some might take offence at the fact that Kartar Singh plays the (mostly wrongly portrayed in popular culture) stereotypical Sardar, the fact is that it works well for the film as it makes his character very funny.
The plot takes a predictable turn in the second half and it is not difficult to foresee what is going to happen next. The second half is not a complete downer and has its share of comic scenes but it is not as surefooted as the first half. The sequence in which Kartar dreams about having a conversation with his dead brother is one of the best scenes in the second hour. However, Anees Bazmee ensures that even though sporadically, the film manages to make you chuckle right till the end. Special mention must be made to Rajesh Chawla who writes some genuinely funny lines that make you laugh at several occasions.
Arjun Kapoor’s performance is alright; he does a decent job at bringing out the dissimilarities between the two characters he is portraying in the film. Anil Kapoor’s performance, without an ounce of a doubt, is one of the strengths of the film. As stated earlier, it is well-written and the seasoned actor delivers a solid performance. Ileana D’Cruz struggles slightly in bringing out the “punjabiyat” in her character but delivers a fairly good performance nonetheless. Athiya Shetty does not get much of screen time and her character does not have much of a graph either. Though Neha Sharma has a cameo, she leaves a good impact with her performance. Ratna Pathak Shah is terrific as Jeeto. Pavan Malhotra is good as Baldev. Karan Kundra is impressive in a cameo.
‘Mubarakan’ is a clean, family entertainer that delivers laughs in good measure and makes for comfort viewing. With better writing, this film could have been in the league of the best comedies Anees Bazmee has made. Even though that does not happen, ‘Mubarakan’ is way better than so many pointless, hare-brained comedies one gets to see these days.