Film: Hungama 2
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Shilpa Shetty, Meezaan Jaffrey, Pranitha Subhash, Rajpal Yadav, Johnny Lever, Ashutosh Rana, Akshay Khanna
Priyadarshan makes a return in the second outing of Hungama with veterans Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Tiku Talsania and Ashutosh Rana in a confusing comic plot. The story of this film, which takes after Priyadarshan’s Malayalam original Minnaram (1994), revolves around Vaani (Pranitha Subhash), who shows up with a child in a hilly town as two reputed families are going to turn their friendship into rishte-dari. Mind you, there are millions involved! The quest to prove if Aakash is Vaani’s father leads to a series of funny incidents.
While the veterans hold the forte, young actors —Meezaan Jaffrey and Pranitha Subhash — try hard to do their part. If JLo is Hollywood’s eternal diva, age and time hasn’t touched Shilpa Shetty either. This goriya still takes your heart away with her dance moves. Radhe aka Paresh Rawal as an old, ‘supposedly’ jilted, husband wins sympathy while one is left wondering about this Anjali-Radhe mismatch. Ashutosh Rana’s act as a father stuck in a situation trying his best to protect his sons, while sticking to the right thing, shows a range of emotions — wrath, helplessness, confusion and fear of losing face in society. Johnny Lever in his short, funny take leaves one in splits, while Rajpal Yadav in his Popat avatar does his best, given the sketchy scenario. Tiku Talsania tickles the funny bone as the Man Friday, Nandan.
The setting, Himachal Pradesh, looks beautiful; the tall trees, flowing streams and golden hills transport one to the beautiful state. The music is by Anu Malik; Chura Ke Dil Mera stills impresses, but the rest of the songs, except the title track, can be given a miss, now that we have control in our hands! One certainly misses Akshay Kumar in Chura Ke Dil Mera 2.0 though!
So, how does the film fare vis-à-vis the first one? Well, the old wine tastes better. It has been almost two decades since the first one came out and it certainly had a better plot. Watch this one for the simple joy of it, although there are some lewd references but most of the film is different characters coming and putting up a comic act. The young rakshas ki sena — the child actors — add mirth to the plot.
As our attention span has been reduced drastically, the film feels like a stretch at 2 hours 36 minutes. But if you like Priyadarshan’s formula, Hungama 2, streaming on Disney +Hotstar, is for you.