The Shaukeens Movie Review: A Full-On Laughter Affair
When the remake of Shaukeen was announced, I was left wondering how it would actually be narrated in today's times. Frankly, the original that had released over three decades back was not quite a classic as it is claimed today. It wasn't even a bumper hit. This isn't all as it wasn't even an out and out riot, say, like a Gol Maal or a Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. It was just a nice feel good middle of the road film that had some rib tickling moments.
Thankfully, director Abhishek Sharma paces up the film considerably well by bringing in a lot more laughter on screen. While he picks just the one line plot of the film, the narration of his version, The Shaukeens, is put together in an entirely new format.
This means the film comes straight to the point in first 10 minutes itself, unlike the Ashok Kumar-Utpal Dutt-A.K. Hangal affair that took more than 30 minutes before the pace picked up. Also, out goes the entire Mithun Chakraborty track that actually contributed absolutely nothing to the original. Instead, an entire new track centered on Akshay Kumar is introduced which is truly relevant to the story. Also, going with the current times, the camaraderie between Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor and Piyush Mishra is not as sugar coated as the one from the era gone by, what with the game of one upmanship being played far more strongly. This is what makes The Shaukeens a lot more interesting and engaging.
In the middle of this all, it is free spirited Lisa Haydon who lights up the screen every time she appears. She has the way of making every scene her own each time around and while that was apparent in Queen too, she does it all over again in The Shaukeens too. As an uninhibited soul who lives by the spirit of being an 'Earth's child' (as she calls herself), she is truly amazing, bindaas qnd carefree. What makes her and her characterisation ultra special is the fact that beyond her body beautiful, it is her free flowing body language and realistic dialogue delivery that make her special.
In addition, what makes the film even more ultra special is the 'most special appearance' of Akshay Kumar who is truly the leader of the pack. He is truly fantastic while playing a superstar who is perplexed with the ongoing trend of 100-200 crore club when all that filmmakers are asking him to do is repeat his Khiladi stunts! His efforts to make himself worthy enough of being an award winning actor is amazing. While he has number of scenes in the film, hence making him present in good part of the second half (other than just the song affairs), for me his most special scene is the one where he wraps up three endorsements in a matter of a few seconds as if it was a walk in the park! Excellently done.
However, in this fun tale that keeps the smiles on right through the two hour duration, one ends up not being too convinced is the manner in which the stage is set, pun intended, in the pre-climax outburst scene of Akshay in a meet-n-greet event. It appears too hasty and the flow is missing too. Also, the climax scene is wrapped up pretty soon when a much more innovative culmination in a humorous tone would have kept the film's overall hilarious tone intact.
Nevertheless, what keeps The Shaukeens vastly entertained are the performances, dialogues, locations and most importantly, the pace. In fact the first half just goes by in a jiffy while the second half is made special due to Akshay Kumar. Lisa Haydon keeps the effervescence intact and Annu Kapoor leads the trio of old men with his punchy dialogues and a cool act. Anupam Kher lets his hair down too, though a little more spice in his characterisation and mannerisms would have allowed him to cover a greater distance. Piyush Mishra brings on good laughter as an uneducated businessman who struggles to make his presence felt amidst his classy friends.
Overall, The Shaukeens turns out to be an altogether different film when compared to the original and it won't be wrong to say that in terms of the humour quotient and the overall story, it only manages to better it further.