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Sunny rents a room in a City called Goa in India. His room-mate is Sameer, who likes to fool around with woman, then dump them. He eventually falls in love, then gets dumped. Sorrowful and repentant, Sameer also has had many misadventures, especially when he ended up slapping an elderly man. Now Sameer has fallen for his next door neighbor, Rani. Now Sameer has two problems to overcome in order to wed Rani. The first he has to eliminate his competitor, none other than Sunny himself, who is also in love with Rani, and will do anything to marry her; and the second is Rani's father, ironically the very man who Sameer had slapped earlier. Will Sunny end up getting married to Rani, leaving Sameer to repent for the rest of his life?Written by
Sumitra (corrected by Calista)
It has problems, but this is a fairly enjoyable, if silly, film
As long as you're in the mood for a lighthearted, somewhat goofy and self-consciously modern Bollywood romantic comedy, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi can fit the bill. It's often funny, and in many ways it is technically impressive. However, partially due to the necessity of stretching out the film's running time to standard Bollywood length, it becomes quite taxing during the second half. Most viewers' ratings are likely to go down during this period, but director David Dhawan redeems his film in the climax. My final verdict was a 7 out of 10, or a "C".
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi is the story of Sameer (Salman Khan). It was clear since Sameer was a baby that he was headed for trouble. The priest who named him suggested "Sameer" because it means something like "calm breeze"--he predicted that Sameer would frequently have problems with his temper, and in a very funny opening sequence, we see the truth of this as we quickly follow Sameer as he grows up. At one point, he even smacks his high school principle. Of course, Sameer always thinks his actions are justified, that he's just sticking up for people who have been wronged. Unfortunately, people in power, such as judges, tend to disagree with him. And even the woman he loves says she's afraid of him. She marries someone else instead. Sameer decides that it's best for him to leave town and try to start afresh. He acquires a job as a lifeguard in Goa. Once there, he sees and falls in love with Rani Singh (Priyanka Chopra), his neighbor. Unfortunately, as soon as he meets her, he unwittingly assaults her father for a minor transgression. To make things worse, Sameer ends up with an obnoxious, competitive roommate, Sunny Khurana (Akshay Kumar). Sunny is a womanizer who falls for Rani, too, and he continually turns the tables on Sameer to ruin his chances with Rani.
The majority of supporting characters are very funny. Once in Goa, Sameer hooks up with a younger astrologer named Raj Purohit (Rajpal Yadav). I've seen Yadav in a few films now, including Dil Bechara Pyaar Ka Maara (2004) and the excellent Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003). He's had a comic edge in all of them and he's impressed me with his range. Sameer's landlord in Goa, Mr. Duggal (Kader Khan), suffered a head injury that results in him alternately being blind, deaf and dumb on different days. A sign outside of his office lets people know which problem he has at the moment.
Of course, some of this is a bit ridiculous. Ridiculousness is a big theme, actually, and imbues everything from characterization to the music. There is a lot of almost corny hip-hop music and attitude in the film, including a recurring low soul-brother voice that keeps telling us how "wicked" Sunny is in a sing-songy fashion. Such touches are prominent in a lot of modern Indian films. The aim is to draw in a youth crowd. In many cases, such as Lakeer Forbidden Lines (2004), there isn't a firm enough commitment to this MTV-ish positioning to make it work for the film overall. Here, director David Dhawan keeps up the ridiculous material more consistently, and as this remains a comedy for most of its length, the corny/campy stuff often works. It may be a bit "stupid funny", like a Bollywood hip-hop "Green Acres" (1965), but that's still funny.
Part of the ridiculousness is realized through references (or less charitably derivativeness) to other films. In the opening sequence, Sameer is fighting with a couple basketball players via Matrix (1999)-like wire stunts, and there's even a bit of "bullet-time" camera-work. Later, there is another Matrix reference, this time to The Matrix Reloaded (2003), as a drunken Sameer fights multiple Mr. Smith-like copies of Sunny in the street. There are also hints of, and even an entire lifted scene from, Meet the Parents (2000). At one point it seems like the plot is going to turn into an uncredited remake of that film, as Rani's father has military background and a Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes-ish disposition. He even has a less than attractive dog that he's obsessed with, but who doesn't like Sameer very much. However, the Meet the Parents material turns out to not be so important, and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi has a more standard Bollywood love triangle/confused identity plot.
The main problem I had with the film, which brought my score down a couple points, was that it's difficult to not become aggravated with Sameer in the later stages of the film. Actually, it's more of an aggravation with the scriptwriting, because the scenarios, and Sameer's odd muteness while he's in the midst of situations that are constantly recontextualized so that they're not in his favor, become overly contrived. At the same time, the character of Sunny becomes annoyingly obnoxious, and the "twist" between the two characters isn't exactly believable.
Part of this is due to the attempt to stretch out the running time to a typical length for a Bollywood film--it clocks in at 2 hours and 40-something minutes. It should have been cut down by an hour. We get a deus ex machina plot device to solve the dilemma in the middle of the film, but it is all for naught, and even given the film's running time, the resolution of the dilemma ends up seeming rushed at the end. The attempt to stretch out the tension was just a bit too over-ambitious.
On the technical side, there is some very nice cinematography, set designs, locations, costumes and such. The film won the Screen Weekly Award for Art Direction, and was nominated for many more.
You shouldn't bother with Mujhse Shaadi Karogi unless you've a strong taste for silliness/corniness/campiness, but if you do, you'll find enough to keep you entertained if you can make it through the frustrating section before the climax.
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