‘Judwaa 2’ Review: Varun Dhawan spectacularly delivers unadulterated old-school fun


Film: Judwaa 2

Starring: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Taapsee Pannu, Rajpal Yadav, Anupam Kher

Director: David Dhawan

What’s it about:

Welcome back to the cinema of the 90s – cinema that was aimed at entertaining the audience unabashedly; cinema that cannot and should not be taken seriously. David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 is exactly that. The reason why it seems fresh despite being so illogical because contemporary filmmakers have closed their doors on this genre. So as an audience, you really haven’t seen anything like this in a long time. This one’s not a sequel at all. In fact, it is very much the same film that the director made 20 years ago with Salman Khan. In the newer version, it’s Varun Dhawan who plays the dual roles of Prem and Raja – identical twins who are separated at birth. Years later, they bump into each other in London. Their same-same looks have already caused a lot of confusion, mainly with their respective girlfriends (Jacqueline and Taapsee). But when they realise they’re brothers, it’s up to them to fight the bad guys who made them separate in the first place.

What’s good:

We wonder why David Dhawan called this film Judwaa 2 if he was eventually going to use exactly the same characters and situations from the original. Also, it’s not like the first one was an all-time classic or even among Dhawan’s finest works. Judwaa (1997) was a fun movie for its time and a major commercial success too – all credit to lead actor Salman Khan who just took it to a different level with his star power. In Judwaa 2, Varun Dhawan repeats the act and is solely responsible for maintaining the film’s entertainment quotient. Every actor has one film in his career that escalates him into the coveted bracket of stars – Judwaa 2 will do that for Varun. His pure and unwavering conviction in the content makes even the most illogical scene tolerable. The gags that work the most are the ones directly lifted from the original; the film also comes most alive when the background score from the original is played out. The best songs are the ones that are taken from the 1997 Judwaa (Oonchi Hai Building and Tan Tana Tan). At a time when most young actors are shying away from such in-your-face commercial films, Varun is unapologetic about it and that’s why it seems so natural. The funny moments in the film are typical David Dhawan and strangely, you still laugh at them because you haven’t seen them in a long time. Much of the film is rather corny (the dialogues, Rajpal Yadav, the baddie played by Zakir Hussain) but it all blends with the overall tone. Dhawan, being the film’s editor himself, doesn’t leave any room for boredom. The film is brisk with the right punches at the right time. Among the other performances, Taapsee stands out and looks surprisingly at ease in this space. Cinematography by Ayananka Bose is top class.

What’s not:

20 years have passed since the original Judwaa. The least David Dhawan could’ve done was to eliminate the tackiness. It’s not funny to see the hero spank the heroine or kiss her forcibly. It’s distasteful to watch a mother pushing her daughter to be with a guy because he’s rich. And it’s ridiculous to make jokes on a speech-impaired man. What’s worse is that an immensely popular actor like Varun Dhawan is made to be a part of all this, which somehow will make it acceptable and appropriate to a certain section of impressionable minds. In a day and age when actors and filmmakers make an effort to avoid such things, it’s totally irresponsible on David and Varun’s part to indulge in it – even if it is in a film as harmless as Judwaa 2.

What to do:

Judwaa 2 is a lot of unadulterated old-school fun. Watch it for its brazen humour and Varun Dhawan’s spectacular act.

Ratings: ***

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