Cast: Anupam Kher, Piyush Mishra, Annu Kapoor, Lisa Haydon and Akshay Kumar
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Sitting through a film like ‘The Shaukeens’ is a depressing experience. We see a lot of lousy writing but a film as banal as this one deserves a special call-out.
You would understand if amateurs were at work here, but the screenplay is by Tigmanshu Dhulia and actors of the calibre of Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor and Piyush Mishra have agreed to do this film. You can’t expect a better replacement than them for the indomitable trio of Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and AK Hangal who starred in the original ‘Shaukeen’ (1982). And yet, it boils down to one of the most blah outings at the theatres in recent times.
You are ready to account for some amount of sleaze when three lecherous old men, Lali (Kher), KD (Kapoor) and Pinky (Mishra) head to Mauritius for some adult fun. They rent a house that belongs to dusky diva Ahana Bhasin (Lisa Haydon), who is also an aspiring designer. Having met the marijuana-smoking wild child, our tharki (lusty) uncles are just waiting for a chance to score. There are bound to be misadventures and you expect them to be fun. However, what follows is an inane chain of events.
Just when you throw up your arms in despair, tired of the senior citizens gawking at young women and shamelessly looking for an opportunity to cajole the unsuspecting Ahana, Akshay Kumar makes an entry as the alcoholic superstar. While Khiladi Kumar tries to make fun of his “kind” of cinema, there is hardly any reprieve from the tepid humour of this shoddy affair.
Lisa Haydon’s sultry looks work their magic in the “Manali trance” number and when she dons the much-anticipated bikini; but she is saddled with such an unenthusiastic role that it saps the spunk out of her character. She does nothing but add a little to oomph to a terribly languid pace.
Cyrus Broacha as Akshay Kumar’s manager makes a futile attempt to amuse us. A National Award-winning Bengali director with an annoying accent makes another harebrained bid to tickle the funny bone. And then, it all collapses into a convenient lacklustre ending that is unconvincing and contrived.
It’s a shame that film after film reeks of uninspired writing and lazy filmmaking. Are we really this bereft of ideas that we can’t even replicate the success of a film that once worked?
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