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Mujhse Shaadi Karogi Turns 19



David Dhawan’s smartest comedy to date, “Mujhse Shaadi Karogi” communicates the airy ambience of a beach party. A triangle with three absolutely non-intellectual protagonists, who do not brood as much as they bleat and bray about love, is not easy to carry off. Throughout the film, David Dhawan retains the rippling raga of ripostes.

In this sprightly dip into blunder-land, Salman Khan fights five-six Akshay Kumars simultaneously.

That, in a naughty-shell, is the coolly comic crux of the Akshay-Salman combination. Though Salman as Samir (“Hawaa ka jhonka (gust of wind),” exclaims a priest, reminding us of Salman’s presence in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”) gives a controlled and often, inspired performance as the beefy nerd who always seems to get his foot in his mouth, it’s Akshay Kumar who is all over the place.

As Sunny — like the mouse in the “Tom and Jerry” show — in Salman’s life, he brings a bracing cartoon-strip quality to the duel between the two leading men. As they battle for the hand of the damsel in disdress (distress is old hat now) we get to witness one of the wackiest comic triangles in recent times.

Besides Akshay Kumar, the USPs of this pleasing-n-teasing comedy are the sumptuous songs and dances and prankish dialogues, which make you chuckle at the sheer silliness.

Rumi Jaffrey’s dialogues are not as sharp and clever as they ought to be, but they convey a certain street wisdom that goes well with the “Tom and Jerry” mould of the mirth.Apart from a smattering of innocuous gay jokes (look what Shah Rukh and Saif started in “Kal Ho Na Ho!”), the soundtrack is refreshingly free of vulgarity and drivel. Sharmista Roy’s clever art direction recreates the crimson “Baywatch” look. Curvaceous girls and beefy boys litter the Goan seascape to create an eye-catching “young” ambience.

The plot is as slender as Ms. Chopra’s waist. Clearly, the film’s main attraction is the way the two leading men go about trying to get her attention. The hook-and-crook strategy is milked to the last delectable drop. Apart from some portions after the intermission, the situational witticism never wanes.

The comedy plays itself out at a fairly high decibel. Even the songs and dances, though mostly like uninvited guests at a wedding, are choreographed with a zip-and-zing that makes you sing. The climax in a stadium filled with well-known cricketers appears to be straining at its satirical seams.

What was the need to introduce that short raga of ribaldry at the end where Amrish Puri finds his wife (Supriya Karnik in an un-recognisable getup) in a compromising position with Salman. This kind of semi-incestuous satire seems inspired by Priyadarshan’s successful 2003 comedy “Hungama”.And really, what was the need for the comedienne par excellence Upaasna Singh to slither up to Salman and sigh, “Mujhe ek bachcha chahiye (I want a baby)”.

The satirical stuffing does get a little too puffy towards the end. And the songs come on a little too often for comfort. But the laughs do not hang loose, thanks to the curiously tense chemistry between the lead pair.

Salman, as the well-meaning loser (Tusshar Kapoor in “Gayab”, without the glasses and with plenty more sinewy muscles), sportingly steps into the fuming groove once again. A lot of his recent roles find him resorting to a standard gritted-teeth-wicked-demeanour angst-projection as a pantomime of controlled acting.

And off comes the shirt to corroborate the mirth.

It’s the comic aptitudes of the cast that ultimately sees the satire to its huffing and puffing finale. Besides the sinewy and spontaneous male twosome, there’s Rajpal Yadav (in a double role as an astrologer and a mo’bike punk!) and Amrish Puri (as the heroine’s father who keeps getting physically hurt by Salman) adding a slurpy  scintillating sheen to  the  festive scene.

This is one laughathon you can enjoy with your family without squirming in your seats.

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