The issue with reboots and remakes is that they suffer from the lack of original appeal and usually fail to innovate and reinvent the franchise. Fortunately in the case of Varun Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 the makers make enough investment in the writing as much as the actor’s washboard abs.
What’s it about: Fun, fresh, light and easy on the senses, Judwaa 2 delivers on what it promises – a massy entertainer. David Dhawan the king of the ’90s blockbusters reinvents himself to appeal to the popular culture of 2017 and gets immense help from his son in making this Salman Khan film his own. A story of twins Raja and Prem separated at birth yet connected with an odd phenomenon where they react to each other’s actions and emotions was a huge hit when it released way back in 1997. Now 20 Years later, the shiny and swanky follow-up revisits a few plot lines and scenes from the original and gives them a modern makeover. Jacqueline and Taapsee play the showgirls/love interests to Varun while Rajpal Yadav plays Nandu, the sidekick to the tapori Prem. The setting gets a massive upgrade, with the film moving its setting to posh London. Even if you haven’t watched the original, Judwaa 2 has a lot going for itself based on its entertaining screenplay and dialogue play. And of course, the star of the show – Varun Dhawan reminds us why he’s the most popular actor in the country right now! (ALSO READ – Judwaa 2 quick movie review: Varun Dhawan’s double trouble act is the perfect tribute to Salman Khan’s original)
What’s hot: Judwaa 2 works because it understands why the original was such a big success. It also helps when the director of the film, who had helmed the original, and his son, who has an insane mass appeal and is starring as the lead, have come together for this film. David Dhawan makes no qualms about the fact that Judwaa 2 is a tribute to Salman. Even if the actor hadn’t done the cameo towards the end, he’s present throughout the film in every scene, song, line and frame. You watch Varun attempt to make some of the iconic Judwaa scenes (bath tub scene, toilet twins encounter) his own, sometimes he struggles, but most of the times he triumphs unscathed. The trick is not to imitate, but pay an ode, and Varun does it with utmost conviction. While Varun is the star attraction of the film, the dialogue and writing come in second. David Dhawan definitely knows who the audience is and makes several references to pop culture with gags and jokes making references to Despacito, Champion song, Baahubali, Shah Rukh Khan’s films and even Varun’s own fan base. Judwaa 2 is unapologetic and absurd at times, which is why it works. The mandate of wooing the audience with Varun’s charm and a plot line, that relies on slapstick and punch lines, works for the film in most parts. Judwaa 2 also retains the background score in parts and features some original tracks that have been remade to suit the EDM generation. Johnny Lever’s cameo and Rajpal Yadav’s stuttering act stand out in a supporting cast that delivers on all fronts. Also, Salman’s cameo in the last scene takes the craze of the film to another level. (ALSO READ – Judwaa 2 box office report: Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee Pannu’s film off to a fantastic start, registers 60 per cent occupancy)
What’s not: What works for the film at times is also detrimental to its health. The constant recall value to Salman and the original makes you sit up and notice the spots where Varun has to try extra hard. While he’s a good mimic, there are scenes where you can sense how overwhelmed he is to step into such big shoes. The girls – Jacqueline and Taapsee are reduced to mere props, with neither of them having anything major to do. Yes, they do look glamorous and provide the arm candy quotient, but I wish they had better character graphs and more to do. The climax fight scene is a bit too long and stretched to fill in for lack of a better ending. (ALSO READ – Judwaa 2 box office report: Varun Dhawan’s film collects Rs 8 crore in advance bookings; fifth best after Baahubali 2 and Tubelight)
What to do: Judwaa 2 is super entertaining for fans of the original as well as for those who are coming in to watch Varun Dhawan. The film is a perfect tribute to Salman’s superstardom and Varun’s own stratospheric mass appeal. Make this your weekend watch.
Reviewed by Tushar P Joshi
**** Very good