Cirkus Review: When more is not merrier : The Tribune India

Cirkus Review: When more is not merrier


Film: Cirkus

Director: Rohit Shetty

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Varun Sharma, Pooja Hegde, Jacqueline Fernandez, Johnny Lever, Sanjay Mishra, Siddhartha Jadhav, Mukesh Tiwari and Murali Sharma

Nonika Singh 

It’s a curated world of Rohit Shetty. It’s a remake of Gulzar’s Angoor. It is inspired by Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Cirkus is not just one thing…it’s a madhouse. Can we expect anything else from Rohit Shetty? But a madcap comedy which we so want from him, it sure isn’t. Set somewhere in 1960s, the story of two identical twin pairs, which is meant to raise laughs, brings it on only in bits and parts.  

For first few minutes, actually later too, we are hand-held and led by this Dr Roy (Murali Sharma), who runs an orphanage. Back in 1942, he talks about surrogate motherhood and how upbringing that is parvarish matters more than bloodline. To prove his thesis right he separates the new-born twin pairs to create a new pair joined not by blood but you guessed it parvarish. Who they will grow up to be needs no elaboration. If you have seen the trailer or know the cast you know both Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma have a double role. Double the confusion, double the fun… Why our very own Punjabi munda Varun Sharma even has proper entry. Not as grand as Ranveer’s but significant nevertheless. Before the two Roys and Joys meet you are ready for a double bonanza.  

But neither pairing strikes the comic note. Even the ever reliable Varun does not get lines that could fill our cup of joy and laughter. Rather, the first funny bugle is sounded by gifted actor Sanjay Mishra. As Bindu’s( Jacqueline Fernandez), father his comic timing in the first half is immaculate. In the second half slapping becomes a byword for slapstick and the result is more unfunny than laughter inducing. Between thieves on the tail of Roy and Joy from Bangalore, confusion reining as they are confused for the Circuswala Roy and Joy from Ooty, comedy loses its sting.  

To top it all, Shetty’s world is indeed a crowded one. A host of actors vie for our attention. There is standard Johnny Lever act. Then before Lever arrives there is Siddhartha Jadhav as Momo doing a similar act. Among the crowd, apart from Mishra, Brijendra Kala stands out in a bit part. Indeed, in a film where male leads come in twos, heroines (Pooja Hegde and Jacqueline Fernandez), can’t be expected to do much and they don’t but are adequate enough. Besides, there is Deepika Padukone, who rocks in a guest song. Her chemistry with her real-life husband Ranveer is livewire. And lest we forget much of the humour is centred around the fact that Roy, who runs a circus, can handle live electric wires. The electric current that he does not feel is felt by his twin in another city, forcing his enemies to flee. Funny?  Not quite. 

In creating the 60s, Shetty does not pay attention to details and is not expected to. But as he tips the hat to those golden melodies right from Aao twist karein to Tu kya jaane bewafa, the tribute to yesteryear cinema is obvious. There is an obvious reference to Ram Aur Shyam too. But if you compare the film with Gulzar-directorial Angoor whose remake it supposedly is, you are on the path of disappointment. Of course, if you watch Cirkus as a stand-alone film, you might find some parts easy and breezy. Guess what, the film even comes loaded with a message. Of course, who watches a Rohit Shetty film for its noble intentions? Precisely, for they can be a laugh-riot. Sadly on count of fun Cirkus is no laugh-a-minute comedy.  

It sure has some fun moments propelled primarily by Mishra. But not enough to sustain the momentum. Despite an overtly colourful design palette, it does not bring merriment. A real pity for with Covid blues hovering by, we could have done with some cheer.