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Film Review: ‘Mubarakan’ is a celebratory film for all families

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Mubarakan tells the story of 2 identical brothers.

Writer-director Anees Bazmee has consistently entertained audiences since the mid-90s. Starting with the 1995 action film Hulchul starring Ajay Devgan and Kajol, Bazmee never looked back as a director, churning out hit after hit, and giving modern Hindi cinema some of its most entertaining films. Some of these worked (Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, Deewangee, No Entry, Welcome, Singh Is Kinng, Ready, Welcome Back) and others didn’t (Thank You, No Problem). Yet one thing remained consistent in Bazmee’s work – a sincerity and belief in the material that had been written and a keen understanding of what pleases an audience for 2.5 hours and makes them forget their woes.

To be honest, I had loved Bazmee’s directorial work from Pyaar To…To Singh Is Kinng. Most of his work post that film had failed to impress me. Ready was a huge disappointment because it seemed like it was banking only on Salman Khan’s star power, Thank You was boring, and Welcome Back, while visually a delight, did not make me laugh once. No Problem was run-of-the-mill. I began to wonder, will the talented Anees Bazmee ever bounce back with a film of the standard of No Entry, Welcome and Singh Is Kinng?

One day, I heard that Bazmee was going to direct a new film called Mubarakan, which would star his favorite, Anil Kapoor, and actors Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, and Athiya Shetty. The film would take place during a wedding, would be a comedy and would be Bazmee’s first film written by outside writers. The concept and cast sounded promising, so I began to look forward to this new venture and believed that this could be Bazmee’s ticket back to glory. Did it deliver? Let’s see…

Mubarakan tells the story of 2 identical brothers, Charan and Karan (Arjun Kapoor). Without ruining the plot, both brothers get stuck in a myriad of confusing situations and family feuds, and it is up to their uncle Kartar (Anil Kapoor) to sort out all of the problems. Will Charan and Karan be able to marry the women they love? Will Kartar be able to resolve any tensions within the family? These questions form the crux of the story.

In terms of performances, Anil Kapoor is, expectedly, awesome. He is comfortable, cool, confident and hilarious. It is the most at ease performance I have seen of him in a long time and he seems to be having a great time in every frame that he is in. Whenever he comes, the audience looks forward to it. He is a legend and this movie only further cements that status.

Arjun Kapoor is wonderful as Charan and Karan. I particularly found his performance as the docile and shy Charan as hilarious. We know Arjun’s natural personality is more like the cool Karan, but seeing him as a subdued/confused individual was a revelation. He proves just how talented he is with his performance in this film.

Ileana and Athiya both perform their roles well. Ratna Pathak Shah and Pavan Malhotra are simply stellar in their portrayal of their characters, while Neha Sharma also puts in a decent performance.

I simply loved the music in the movie by Amaal Malik and Gourov Roshin. “Jatt Jaguar” is a catchy, thumping way to start the movie, while “Hawa Hawa” is a fun, playful number. The real scene stealer is the “Goggle Song” which I foresee as being the go-to song in parties from this point forward. Anil Kapoor’s choreography in this song also adds to the fun. A very fun soundtrack after a long time indeed!

Cinematography is functional, nothing extraordinary. However, the script by Rajesh Chawla, Rupinder Chahal, Gurmmeet Singh and Balwinder Singh Janjua is perfect. It is unpredictable and has the right balance of entertaining and emotional situations to both make the audience roll in the aisles laughing and shed a tear as well. Very nice work by this team of writers!

Direction by Anees Bazmee is top notch. The film does not feature slapstick or high decibel comedy like usual. It is more tempered and situational. I would say that this film is one of Bazmee’s best and will be remembered for many years to come as being a family friendly film in a time where Hindi cinema is busy making Westernized or angst-ridden/dark films. It is a breath of fresh air to see a film with optimism and family values at its core, rather than most films these days which are an effort to simply pander to the youth or try to pass off bold themes as good cinema. Editing also on this film is fluid and fast, without a dull moment.

All in all, I strongly recommend you see Mubarakan with the whole family. It is the perfect summer movie – catchy songs, good performances, entertaining story and strong emotions. Don’t forget that once in a while, it is crucial to see a film that simply makes you smile. I give Mubarakan a 5/5. It entertained me and gave me even more than what I anticipated. Have fun!