Written by Manisha Lakhe on August 31, 2018
Not ‘PHIR SE’ But ‘KYON’?
Puran Singh is blessed by his ancestors and treats everyone with medicines from Ayurveda, and his family clinic has a secret medicine called Vajra Kavach that works like magic on dreaded diseases. Many pharma companies want the formula, but Puran Singh is happy doing his thing for charity. But a young woman who comes to learn from him steals the secret formula and Puran Singh now has to defend his family’s honor. The film is so loud, and so obvious, you will need earplugs as well as sunglasses, and you will also wonder why they had to make this humorless film.
At 147. 54 minutes, this third part of Yamla Pagla Deewana is plain unbearable. Dharmendra who is a mere shadow of the beautiful man he once was, is made to look foolish, talking to ‘apsaras’ (angels) only he can see. Of course, the audience gets to see two women dressed really oddly, their cgi images shaking and wavering like they were emerging from a lamp like a genie does, while the characters in the film see Dharmendra talk to himself. If that wasn’t enough, they have him listen to old Hindi film songs by plugging the branded player. My heart just hurt seeing the gorgeous hero of Bandini and Satyakam reduced to such ridiculousness.
Sunny Deol plays Puran Singh, the Ayurveda doctor who is powerful enough to pull two tractors. He’s even shown dispensing medicines kindly to his patients. But when he refuses to sell the formula for Vajra Kavach the medicine that cures all diseases, the pharma company boss from Gujarat pledges revenge.
Suddenly a pretty, young thing from Gujarat shows up to learn Ayurveda from Puran Singh. As the audience gasps disbelievingly, we see Puran invite the girl Cheeku (Kriti Kharbanda, in a yet another forgettable role) to stay at their home.
Bobby Deol is Kala, Puran’s younger brother, who is ready to make a quick buck. He drinks every night and we endure a very poor version of Dharmendra’s famous drunken act from Sholay again and again and again, until you wish he’d save us all from the pain by falling off the terrace.
There’s much loud Gujarati people are like this and Punjabi people are like that attempts at jokes. But the only funny line is when Cheeku goes away (of course they think the audience hasn’t made the connection between Gujarati pharma company and Gujarati girl suddenly appearing in Punjab, so they show Cheeku taking pictures of the ancient Ayurvedic texts while all the Punjabis are dancing in the streets).
Yes, Punjab is the land of color and festivities but you want to wear sunglasses or you’d be blinded by the garish colors on the screen. And you hear the loud musical refrain of the famous song ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’ so often, you just want to put your head in the nearest bucket to drown out the sounds. Poor Bobby Deol is made to be romeo, singing and dancing in outrageous clothes, even though it looks like he wants to be back in the Salman Khan film fighting shirtless in Race 3 instead.
Yes the stolen formula needs to be fought for, and Dharmendra is lawyer. Yes, the film is that obvious. Everything derails after that. And you come home wondering why they would need to do this to their countless fans. You come away Ghayal ( ‘Hurting’, also the title of Sunny Deol’s most popular film).
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)