Arjun Patiala Diljit’s Fun Attempt AT A Cop Comedy

Arjun Patiala

Starring: Diljit Dosanjh,Kriti Sanon,Varun Sharma

Directed by Rohit  Jugraj

Rating: ***(3 stars)

There  is plenty that is  wrong with this ostensible comedy. But somehow Diljit Dosanjh playing a  goofy cop determined to rid his ilaaka  of  all  crime and criminals, makes it all seem right even when the script(provided  it ever  existed) goes  horribly askew.

Director Rohit Jugraj  has  had considerable experience  in  Punjabi films with Dosanjh. In Hindi, the  Punjabi  flavour  gets  tediously diluted rendering many  of  the  jokes not only feeble but also fatuous.

What works is Dosanjh’s equation with his co-star Sanon. She plays  a brassy  bossy loud-mouthed teevee anchor, the kind we do know  of and roll our eyes  about .And she enjoys jabbering into the  void that’s created  by this film’s hairline plot. Whenever the lead pair comes together there  is some kind of  a crackling chemistry(at least that’s what I thought  it was, unless  it’s flatulence)   ill-defined and unsupported  by the  too-clever-for-its-own-good  script which takes potshots at  the  very conventions  of a rom-com that it embraces .

By the time Sunny Leone(yes , she’s in it  too! ) shows up at Diljit’s  thana speaking breathlessly in her own voice(yes, her OWN  voice and not dubbed!) about her beauty parlour which she wants  our khaki-clad hero to  rescue from goons, we are  placed in a state  of  giggly trance, the  kind that occurs when you drink too  much bhangduring Holi and you are laughing at the  stupid jokes being cracked,  not because they are  funny but  because they’re trying to be funny.

Varun Sharma  too has  some funny moments with Diljit. But then  the babyface always  works in  any  situation, no matter  how desperate.

 Speaking  of being funny, that  actor par excellence  Mohabbat Zeeshan  Ayyub has for once forsaken his serious  politically motivated image to play an out-and-out  childlike psychopath called Sakool who  is  ruthless and risible at  the same time.But the usually-ediying Ronit Roy playing a zonked-out senior cop is wasted by a script that seems to rely almost wholly on the actors’ ability to improvise.

What was  the  need  to format the  screenplay as  film-within-a-film? I mean, isn’t that sort of conceit a  bit too much for  a feather-light comedy  to carry, unless  the director wanted  to bring in Pankaj Tripathy anyhow as a prospective producer who freaks out with joy on hearing the  story that we see unfold.Alas,  we are  unable to share Pankaj’s  excitement.

I think the actors got the point. That there  is no point. If it wasn’t for Diljit Dosanjh Arjun Patiala wouldn’t be worth  a mention.

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