Coolie No 1 Movie Review: Bring your luggage

Coolie No 1

Cast: Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan, Paresh Rawal, Jaaved Jaaferi

Director: David Dhawan

Not that 1995’s Govinda-Karisma played by Coolie No 1 was a great movie, but it had an inherent and very natural fun vibe, so typical of most of David Dhawan’s plays. A simple storyline, absolutely perfect comic timing and compelling songs.

Dhawan’s films like Aankhen, Shola Aur Shabnam, Coolie No 1, Judwaa, Hero No 1, were mostly those types of rich and poor middle class girl type stories that made us notice the simplicity of the idea and their fun running. Unfortunately, nothing like that can be said of Dhawan’s latest remake, the Coolie No 1 remake, starring his son Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan. It’s tiring and irritating to see Dhawan Senior lose touch and present a half-baked product that has nothing to call its own, aside from a few bland onliners and a surprisingly tacky makeup.

The story remains the same. Rozario (Paresh Rawal), a Goa hotelier, insults Jaikishan (Jaaved Jaaferi), a matchmaker, and the latter settles the bills by getting rich, Rozario’s daughter Sarah (Sara Ali Khan), married to a poor Raju station porter (Varun). In between, there are song remakes, scene remakes, and dance remakes. Imitation is definitely the most sincere form of flattery, especially if it’s from your movie!

For a film that is still stuck in the 90s, the absence of actors like Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor and Sadashiv Amrapurkar, is a blow even if you refrain from comparisons. There isn’t much to do though!

The totally lackluster dialogue and lack of intent do not raise the anger level to the required level. Where is that spontaneity and the magic of Govinda?

Try this dialogue:

Paradise on the friendly harbor

They are “lomdi” and the fox man!

Or, this:

Jab meri beti ho gayi iski,

Toh it’s just rum and whiskey!

I don’t see anyone laughing!

Then there are frequent impersonations of Bollywood stars in strangely disinteresting ways, and in the midst of all this involuntary chaos, Sara Ali Khan continues to stand on the balcony looking for a savior, not for her but for the film. Either he knew what was going to happen to the film and wanted to get off the set as soon as possible, or what they say about nepotism is true. It’s not a movie she would like to be remembered for.

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And I haven’t even touched on the issues of generation gap, gender sensitivity, religious bias and Rajpal Yadav acting.

A dialogue by Govinda’s Dulhe Raja sums up the remake of Coolie No 1: “Nanga nahayega kya, nichodega kya”.

With 134 minutes of battery life, it feels like a never-ending saga of painful comedy and mystified tragedy. Please bring your own luggage.

Rating: 1/5