The Shaukeens : Failed Remake held by Akshay Kumar
“Shaukeen” is a famous movie made memorable by the performances of Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A. K. Hangal and inimitable style of Basu Chatterjee. They were ably supported by Mithun Chakravorty and Rati Agnihotri. It was a hit movie etched in the mind of viewers of those days. In fact my father-in-law and his 2 friends are big fan of the movie. In their heydays used to plan their own old age as per that movie. When I heard of the remake of that movie, the first thought that cross my mind was of him. But is the remake equally good as the original movie?
The Shaukeens, though similar in the core, has a different story than “Shaukeen”. It lacks the comedy of error track which was part of the original where Mithun Chakravorty plays a Drivers Role and convinces the 3 oldies to go to Goa so that he can be with his girlfriend. In this new movie, the 3 lusty old men looking for some fun in life are the same but they on their own decide to explore foreign countries as they feel “India is no longer safe for them” and “It is all legal abroad”.
So these 3 friends who can not grow up with their age i.e. Laali (Anupam Kher), Pinky (Piyush Mishra), Annu Kapoor (KD) plan to go to Mauritius. There they have booked a villa owned by Ahana (Lisa Haydon) who is a young, spunky fashion designer who makes outfits made by weird material sourced from animals. She was going away on a road trip with her boyfriend which gets cancelled as she breaks up with him. So she comes back to her villa adding to the hopes of these lecherous oldies.
Though each of these oldies do not miss any chance to touch Ahana, they come to know that the only way to “get her do anything” is to help her meet with The Superstar Akshay Kumar. Ahana is big fan of him and dreams of working with him. So do these oldies succeed in making that happen? Do they get what they want from Ahana? All those answers can be found in the film.
Story, Screenplay and Dialogue is credited to Tigmanhsu Dhulia with co-writer credits given to Sai Kabir. The screenplay is flat and the gags do not work. Though the pace is fast, there is lack of interesting content. What the writers feel will make the audience “ROFL” does not work in theatres. So overall, bad work at writing stage. In dialogs department too, there is nothing memorable.
Director Abhishek Sharma who did great job in “Tere Bin Laden”, could not salvage the film because of the nothingness in the screenplay. But he did kept the pace zippy with his editor Rameshwar S. Bhagat and credit must be given for that. So it is again proven that unless there is meat in the screenplay, a good Director too can not cook a good dish.
Performances by veterans like Anupam Kher, Piyush Mishra and Annu Kapoor are good but not the best. Annu Kapoor do look good. It is sad to waste Rati Agnihotri who was the heroine of the original film. She should have not accepted this film. Cyrus Broacha is good in his small role.
Lisa Haydon is ok but she does look miscast as she is required to behave younger than she looks. Also her character does not differentiate at all in a bad touch and a good touch… We can not belief that a full grown woman like her will be so Naïve. A younger girl would have been better for this role.
Last but not the least is Akshay Kumar. He proves that no one can compete with him when it comes to comic timing. Whenever he is on screen, those are the best moments of the film. In fact, he is better in this small role than the full length roles in his other films. It is a waste that his good work will not reach many people as the film is bad and will perform bad at box office.
On the production side, the film is top notch. Production Designer Madhu Sarkar Kuriakose did a fabulous job and Cinematographer Chaudhary Amalendu did outstanding work in capturing that and the beauty of Mauritius. Costume Design by Jennifer Gardiner and Falguni Thakore is noticeable. Music by Hard Kaur, Arko Mukhrjee, Vikram Negi, Yo Yo Honey Singh is good and even the background score by Sandeep Chowta is lively.
Overall, it is a bad remake of a good film. But Akshay Kumar does give some value for money.
(Half star specially for Akshay Kumar)
Recommendation : Can be skipped. Do catch it up on satellite or DVD