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Rediff.com  » Movies » Wild Wild Punjab Review: Sober Version Of The Hangover

Wild Wild Punjab Review: Sober Version Of The Hangover

By DEEPA GAHLOT
July 10, 2024 12:44 IST
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This is the kind of film to watch with friends and maybe a six-pack.
It has some risqué bits but nothing so vulgar that the pause button would need to be hit if Mummyji walks into the room, notes Deepa Gahlot.

This is Punjab, but it's also Luv Ranjan's laddish universe in which a bunch of overgrown boys, who ought to have adulted by their 30s, run riot from Patiala to Pathankot, with enough booze consumed to float a few boats.

Wild Wild Punjab, co-produced and co-written by Ranjan and directed by Simarpreet Singh, is a somewhat sober version of The Hangover school of cinema.

It's much less profane and just borderline misogynistic -- nobody gets an anti-women monologue (maybe because Kartik Aryan is missing in the melee) -- and if setting fire to a place with alcohol-saturated piss is anybody's idea of comedy, then this one's funny.

There are four friends: Maan Arora aka Arore (Sunny Singh) is the Casanova, Gaurav Jain (Jassie Gill) is the 'vegetarian' daddy's boy, Honey Singh (Manjot Singh) is the rich transport company heir and Rajesh Khanna aka Khanne (Varun Sharma) is the joker of the pack, the actor still channeling his inner Zach Galifianakis.

To give him credit, though, nothing is too ridiculous for him, including getting a bullet in his backside and then getting kicked there.

 

Khanne is distraught because the girl he loves is getting married to another.

After getting roaring drunk, they decide to drive the three-hour distance to the wedding venue in Honey's swanky SUV he lovingly calls Paro, so that Khanne can tell Vaishali (Aasheema Vardaan) -- often referred to as veshya (hooker) -- that he is over her.

Three hours, however, turn out to be a very, very broad estimate, since the path to heart-mending closure is strewn with distractions.

It's tough to encapsulate the plot without giving away spoilers but along the way, they crash a wedding, get into drunken stupor and add a passenger (Patralekhaa) to the car.

Then it is decided to take a detour so that they can pick up a young woman (Ishita Raj), who can pretend to be Khanne's hot new girlfriend, so the 'I'm over you' would be more convincing and the bride could be made jealous.

Every few minutes, in the fast-paced misadventure (screenplay and dialogue by Sandeep Jain and Harman Wadala), something goes wrong for the dudes.

Since it is Punjab of the Bollywood stereotype, at some point, cops (Rajesh Sharma) are involved, a lockup is experienced, drugs enter the picture and gangsters (Anjum Batra, Samuel John) join the fray.

There is violence but of the jokey kind. In the midst of a chase and shootout, there is a hilarious phone conversation with a gun supplier about a malfunctioning weapon.

Bullets fly, cars overturn, but nobody actually gets hit, except unfortunate Khanne, in the posterior.

It's all in the cause of entertainment.

Men getting into trouble because of their stupidity, greed or, in this case, uncontrolled guzzling, is a legit subgenre of the road-cum-buddy movie. Every time there is a lull in the movie market for a comedy, one of these can be trotted out.

The friends can be men or women; the idea is taking a trip that goes topsy-turvy!

The last ones that hit the spot were Madgaon Express and Crew.

A film like Wild Wild Punjab needs an actor like Varun Sharma to raise the laughs.

The other three do their bit and play off his antics and sportingly let the light shine on Khanne.

This is the kind of film to watch with friends and maybe a six-pack. It has some risqué bits but nothing so vulgar that the pause button would need to be hit if Mummyji walks into the room.

As for Daddyji, the film has one meanie (Gopal Datt) who tells his son, 'You mess up and I will go back 26 years and wear a condom.'

Generations of scary Punjabi fathers never got a line like this.

Wild Wild Punjab streams on Netflix.

Wild Wild Punjab Review Rediff Rating:

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