Gujarati Film review: Gujjubhai Most WantedFebruary 24, 2018
Gujjubhai Most Wanted
Gujjubhai, Metacin Wanted
‘Gujjubhai’. Mere the name is sufficient to bring a broad smile on your face. Over the years, ace actor SiddharthRanderia has successfully established himself as a synonym of laugh out loud comedy. His play series ‘Gujjubhai’ has its own fan following. About three years ago, SiddharthRanderia and his son Ishaan brought their first movie in the franchise ‘GujjubhaiThe Great.’ It was a laugh riot and runaway hit. Now, this father-son duo is back with the second installment ‘Gujjubhai Most Wanted.’ Whether the movie works? Let’s find out.
Like Father Like Son
ArvindDivetia aka Gujjubhai (SiddharthRanderia) is an estate agent in Ahmedabad. His son Khagesh aka KD (JimitTrivedi), an aspiring YouTuber and fire-fighter of his dad. The father-son has a ‘NiravModi-sq’ past incident which haunts them. In order to escape from the ghost of the past, they end up in a thicker mess which involves terrorists and two countries. Will Gujjubhai be able to save the day? We know it for sure, because he’s the Gujjubhai, right?!
Gujjubhai, the name is enough
One thing is writing on the wall: SiddharthRanderia has an amazing comic timing. He can make you smile even without saying a word. The same can be said about JimitTrivedi. The character of ‘Gujjubhai’ is the symbol of street-smart Gujarati businessman, who can sell anything to anyone, can do anything, who is timid but has a very sharp mind, who is afraid of his wife but doesn’t miss a chance to put an eye on any beautiful woman, who is patriotic and isn’t afraid to go to any extent when it comes to save the country.
The movie starts with the same template as of the previous movie. It introduces their leading men in the middle of something, pulls back into a flashback and reaches to the present day. The whole movie is a ‘khichdi’ of mistaken identities and comedy of errors. Let’s look at the positives of the movie.
Leading Pair: The leading pair here is not traditional hero-heroine, but SiddharthRanderia&JimitTrivedi. They complement each other, keep the laugh riot continue and virtually lift the whole movie on their shoulders. The way Gujjubhai says, ‘GothavvuPadshe’everytime, and he comes up with some zany story to save the skin and the way both passes the buck saying ‘Taarovaaro’ (now your turn) to each other is the most hilarious part of the movie. One of Randeria’s almost patented style of comedy is ‘Gujju-fied Hindi’ (say, ‘bawa Hindi’). Pure Gujarati phrases he says in Hindi for e.g. ‘Od kachod ne oolkachoolhogaya’, ‘bawakabeubagda’, ‘jeevtaalvechontyahai’… are almost impossible to translate, but creates a laugh riot. Randeria never misses a punchline and to make us laugh. Both Randeria&Jimit are the clear winners here.
Side characters: The movie is amazingly supported by a couple of superb side characters such as Sunil Vishrani as a builder ‘Mr.Nagda’ and RaagiJani as a queen crazy Kathiawaadicop ‘ZoravarsinhJadeja’. They fill the screen with unique dialogue delivery and sense of comic timing. A pair of goofy terrorist handlers Shahrukh&Farooq (AlokGagdekar& Anil Mange), a ‘bhabhi’ smitten neighbor, aDawood fearing old man are relatively funny and keep the roller-coaster spinning.
The Dialogues:Some very funny dialogues are written bySiddharthRanderia himself. The lines like: ‘Masha-allah… MasanahiPappa, masa Bhavnagar me rehtehai’, ‘hum to sabkasathsabkavikasbolneaaye the’, ‘Arre, Nagda Tower ma rahiechhieemkahevaanuchhe, tower ma nagdarahiechhieemnathikahevaanu’, ‘RaaniRoopmatidevianebajumadaasi Basmati’etcare hilarious.
Thicker the plot, thinner the laughter
But alas, the movie has more troubles than the laughs. Here are the things I didn’t like:
The story: The movie should have revolved around street-smartness of Gujjubhai and how he saves the day. But the trouble starts when a RAW agent Vikrant Waghmare (Jayesh More) and some Pakistani terrorists appear on the screen. The whole terrorist attack track is unfunny. The Randeria-Trivedi duo tries to infuse laughter, but they are left helpless with the dry screenplay.
The Length: ‘Gujjubhai Most Wanted’ is good 157 minutes long. Almost three hours of duration (including the interval) is exhausting. The subplots involving Pakistani officials, terrorists, completely unnecessary songs stratch the movie way beyond the threshold of patience. The movie should have been edited to at least 30 minutes.
Over Bollywoodness: The main problem of our recent so-called ‘Urban Gujarati Movies’ is, they try to look like a Bollywood movie, which they are not. ‘Gujjubhai…’ isn’t different from it. You can clearly see the shades of an AneesBazmi, Abbas-Mastan or RohitShetty films. The large chunk of the movie is in Hindi. Even some Gujarati actors like Jayesh More (with only one expression stuck on his deadpan face)&FerozIrani speak in awkward Gujjufied Hindi. I couldn’t understand,what was the need to make both of them Hindi speakers. However, the production value is as superior as any Bollywood movie (barring one bomb blast with bad CGI).
Sexist Crude Humor: The whole Gujjubhai franchise portrays women either as an object to ogle or as loud nagging wives. I just fail to understand why do we need stale wife bashing jokes to laugh on.
Only For Siddharth Randeria
‘Gujjubhai Most Wanted’ is funny in parts. It wants you to sit back and enjoy without troubling your brain or trying to look for any logic in it. Like they promised in the trailer, it’s a family entertainer, with the scope of too many loo breaks! Don’t expect the sheer magic of previous Gujjubhai movie or of SiddharthRanderia’s super hit plays. Randeria is in form so his fans won’t be that disappointed. But as a movie, ‘Gujjubhai Most Wanted’ left me disappointed. I am looking forward to first Gujarati movie franchise, provided the makers come up with tighter and fresh screenplay.
Rating: **1/2 (Two and a half stars)
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