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Movie Reviews

Cast: Salman Khan, Asin, Arya Babbar, Paresh Rawal, Puneet Issar, Mahesh Manjrekar

Directed by Anees Bazmee

Rating: *1/2

Whistle-blowers rejoice! Salman is back and this time he's ditched his belt to fiddle inside his pant pockets (read: Dhinka Chika, in case you don't have a television set at home). The thing with Salman's films is that they're in a genre of their own. A genre that cannot be graded for the story, screenplay, performances or any other metric used to evaluate other films. They can just be enjoyed or suffered, depending upon the elasticity of your tolerance. I hope you would consider this vague disclaimer before reading this review and before going to watch this monsoon musical.

But you're on this page hoping to get an idea about this film, so let's get down to business. The film is about a spoilt brat called Prem (the 14th time Salman has used this as a screen name) and his annoyingly happy family. Prem's daddy, Rajveer Kapoor (Mahesh Manjrekar) has the memory of a goldfish and he constantly portrays his disability by making vulgar physical and oral gestures to describe anything he can't re-collect. Prem also has two uncles and aunts who live together with them in their sprawling mansion spanning across Thailand, Sri Lanka and Filmcity, Goregaon. There's also a random elderly neighbour who is invariable lurking about at the Kapoor household (the only way to get into the frame?).

Anyway, the film becomes a pickled mess when a girl on the run, Sanjana (Asin) lands up at the Kapoor residence, in the guise of Prem's prospective bride. Predictably, she wins everyone's hearts with her clichéd tactics (morning bhajans, respect for elders, disrespect for Prem etc). Now, Sanjana has a dark past and even darker relations, comprising a bevy of assorted villains from the past and present who flaunt every wig in the costume box. Some of them include, Bade Mama (Sharad Saxena), Chote Mama (Akhilendra Mishra), Bade Dada (Puneet Issar) and few other non-descript Bollywood henchmen.

In Hindi films, if the good doesn't reign over evil, it can atleast trick evil into switching sides. So, the Kapoors devise the most ridiculous plan (not even worth mentioning here) to get the Chaudharys (Sanjana's uncles) to indulge in some soul cleansing, beginning with chopping off their 'chotis' (the root of all evil?).

After several songs, excessive hamming and dialogues like "Iska koi resort nahin. Isse acha hain ki aap resort book karlo" and "In that case, mere paas aaja mere suitcase", you just want to dhinka chika yourself out of the movie hall. But the movie refuses to end, as unnecessary confusions and complications pile up and you wonder if there's enough reel left to clear it all up. Luckily, your prayers are answered as this movie ends like a school play, with the dim-witted criminals realizing they've wronged and swearing to mend their ways. Sigh.

'Dhinka Chika' will surely win enough whistles and 'Character Dheela' will leave many gasping. But if you're expecting a laugh-a-thon, then you're in the wrong movie. Salman gives in his 10 percent and packages it off with 200 percent confidence and style. Asin could surely get a chance to dub for the next Chip 'n' Dale film, in case her acting career doesn't fall in place.

When you exit this film, there will be little you will take away from it, apart from Salman's pocket fiddling and bum rubbing dance moves. But then if Anees Bazmee was interested in making meaningful cinema, he would've demonstrated the same in "No Entry", "Welcome" or "Thank You". How about, "No, Thank You" for his next multi-starrer-no-brainer?

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