Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam Movie Review: Maddness Missing, but an Entertainer Still
Director writer Sanjay Chhel has a good flair for comic writing and one expects a lot from his directorial venture Maan Gaye Mughall e Azam. Chhel fulfills quite a few expectations as the film works in most parts, but in others, it leaves much to be desired. The plot by itself has tremendous scope to be a real rib tickler but somehow the director is unable to extract the maximum from it. The film is replete with one liners and witty repartees, and quite funny ones at that, but on the whole, the film doesn't fall into a great cohesive whole, where the comic element is concerned. One of the reasons could have been the numerous sub plots that are there in the film. Chhel fails to marry all of these concerns successfully in his film. So, yes, the film, is a little thanda, on that count. But the good thing is that the comedy is of good quality. Chhel does not err here. Another thing that works in the film's favour is its cast. Paresh Rawal and Mallika Sherawat, specially, and Rahul Bose, in parts, display some good chemistry and rapport which comes across very effectively on screen. The film's story is set in a little town in Goa and revolves around a theatre company, The Kalakar Theatre Company, which gears up to help a RAW agent (Rahul Bose), save the country from a terrorist attack. The company ends up mostly performing the period drama of Salim and Anarkali's love story. Rawal is the company's lead actor and generally end up playing Akbar to his wife (Mallika)'s Anarkali. But they are enlisted by the RAW agent to help them stave off the terrorist threat and Rawal's character ends up playing the role of don in real life. The RAW agent is busy saving the country and also having his bit of fun with Madame Anarkali, whose only excuse is desh bhakti as she flits about, acting silly and trying to extract secrets from the country's enemies. The plot is interesting and the actors make it even more interesting. But the writing lacks the meat and hence the film is not consistently funny. However, saving it from being bland are the colourful characters who are in the film. Chhel has excelled in the manner in which he has created such an interesting bunch of characters for his movie. The film's highlight is its acting and its writing and strangely, is also let down by its writing in certain parts. No write up on this film will be complete without raving about Paresh Rawal. That the man is a superb actor is an undisputable fact. His comic timing and the manner in which he makes a character his own is quite well known. The interesting thing is that this week sees two of the actor's films at the box office, this one and Mumbai Meri Jaan. He has two absolutely different roles in both films and it is amazing how well he personifies both characters, the about to retire beat constable in Mumbai Meri Jaan and his character in this movie. He is equally at home, whether the genre is comedy, satire or dramatic. The best thing about him is that he makes everything seem so effortless and fun. He imbues this role with that same sense of passion and ease. He is a treat to watch when he plays Akbar in the movie or even the Don, or even the jealous husband. Proving an equal foil to Rawal is Mallika. She exudes sex appeal and infuses her role with the right amount of silliness as is required for the film. She seems to be developing into a fine comic actress. Rahul Bose is the surprise element in the film. One has generally seen him doing serious roles but he rises to the occasion here and displays a fine knack for comedy. All the three, Rawal, Mallika and Bose have a terrific camaraderie on screen which bodes very well for the film. The rest of cast, comprising actors like Kay Kay Menon, Pawan Malhotra, Manoj Joshi and Zakir Hussain, are totally eclipsed by this brilliant trio. Musically, the film is not on very strong ground. The songs are just about passable, definitely not Anu Malik's best. The film's dialogues are punchy and full credit to Chhel for that. Overall, as a director too, he does a decent job. The only area where he stumbles is his inability to keep the humor consistent throughout and exploiting the plot even further to make a great comedy. He is undoubtedly a very talented writer and director, and Maan Gaye Mughall e Azam displays that talent. But seeing his talent and flair for the genre, one feels that he could have raised the bar and made this into a total fun movie. The madness is missing. Otherwise, a good entertainer.