Can the orangutan act? This particular primate is obviously a trained animal, but it has a hard time trying to keep pace with the human members of the loony cast.
Need one say more? But since a movie review cannot be just 20 words or thereabouts, here we go.
Those that have been through the first round of the Yamla Pagla Deewana shock treatment might be forgiven for thinking that it couldn’t get any worse. Think again. The sequel is double the pain. It scrapes the very bottom of the barrel.
Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 is much worse than brain-numbing. The screenplay jumbles up a few songs, some action scenes and a string of vapid comic gags and then dumps it all into a messy mix that makes about as much sense as Garam Dharam’s pow-wows with the mute ape.
You’ve got to be yamla, pagla or deewana, preferably all three, to grasp what is going on.
The Deol trio is joined by a bespectacled ape named Einstein in unleashing unbridled bunkum, some of it in a place that is passed off as Varanasi, and then a whole lot more of it in good ol’ Blighty.
Conman Dharam Singh Dhillon (Dharmendra) and his son Gajodhar Singh Dhillon (Bobby Deol) are up to their old tricks in Varanasi.
Dharam masquerades first as Yamla Baba on the bank of a river and then as a moneybag in a palatial mansion where the butler is supposedly a number cruncher from the London School of Economics.
Father and son are out to con a wealthy Indian nightclub-owner from London, Sir Yograj Khanna (Annu Kapoor), who has come down to the holy city in search of peace, his daughter, Suman (Neha Sharma), in tow.
The girl is a flighty bimbo who gets into a bitter squabble with Gajodhar over a Salman Khan cutout. But when Gajodhar learns that she is Sir Yograj’s daughter, he woos her in true Dabangg style, singing, dancing and fighting – not in that order – with gay abandon.
The conmen have no clue that Sir Yograj is on the verge of bankruptcy and is struggling to repay a ten million pound-sterling bank loan.
Dharam’s elder son, Paramveer Singh Dhillon, is a recovery officer with the bank in question and is entrusted with the task of discreetly figuring why a man as moneyed as Sir Yograj is a defaulter.
Needless to say, Paramveer is a Super Sardar who, all in a day’s work, saves Sir Yograj’s nightclub from being taken over by a crazed builder Joginder Armstrong (Anupam Kher).
The promoter wants the space and the entire street on which the club stands vacated so that he can build the world’s largest mall, so big that patrons would need mini spaceships to get around.
When the action shifts to the foreign location, Varanasi is left far behind, but the mindlessness that was on display in the first Yamla Pagla Deewana three years ago remains intact.
The debt-ridden magnate has another daughter, Reet (Kristina Akheeva), who works in an art gallery. Paramveer falls head over heels in love with her but complications arise when Gajodhar, too, starts eyeing her as his engagement with Suman turns out to be a damp squib.
Parts of Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 are so outrageously silly that they can actually be unintentionally funny. One gag is piled upon another without any concession to logic.
So there is Kher hamming it up as a greedy land-grabber. Johnny Lever, playing the former’s bumbling henchman, apes Shahrukh Khan’s Don, aided and abetted by a Junglee Billee. In the end, the joke is entirely on the film.
Anupam Kher’s character cracks a corny joke. Nobody around him reacts. So he hollers: “That was a joke. Clap!” His minions applaud.
Sangeeth Sivan, who steps into the director’s shoes and into a minefield of tedious capers, has no way of seeking similar compliance from the audience.
Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 runs for 155 minutes and its attempts to pass off lunacy as a humour simply do not have the force to hold such a long film together.
Even Salman Khan, who hangs over the film like a mascot, cannot help.
However, in absentia, Salman could actually turn out to be this film’s biggest crowd-puller provided the masses can get past the deadly Deols.
On the acting front, subtlety and refinement are consistently kept at an arm’s length. It is sad to see a septuagenarian Dharmendra chase cheap thrills.
Sunny Deol cannot live down his action-hero persona, while Bobby Deol tries his best to pass off as a dashing lover boy.
The two girls, too, are forgettable. But why blame them when the film they are in is likely to be relegated to Bollywood’s footnotes as soon as it is out of the theatres, no matter how much it manages to mop up at the box office?
If you adore the Deols, get a move on. Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 is likely to be shown the door at most multiplexes by the time the second week dawns.
One happy fallout of that would be that even the Deols would need loads of courage to contemplate a third installment. Surely, Dharmendra doesn’t deserve any more of this indignity.
Like all Indian films these days, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 starts with a disclaimer asserting that no animals were hurt during the shoot. Isn’t the poor orangutan an animal? It must be terribly ‘hurt’ at being treated with such disdain by mankind!