‘BUNTY AUR BABLI 2’ REVIEW | 19 November, 2021

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Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2 (UA) is a sequel to Bunty Aur Babli (2005). The original Bunty (real name Rakesh Trivedi) (Saif Ali Khan) and Babli (real name Vimmi Trivedi) (Rani Mukerji), after retiring from conning people, are leading a domesticated life. They have a son, Pappu (Agrim Mittal). They get a shock when they learn that two con persons are (mis)using their brand name and conning people to make money just like they used to do, years ago.

Police inspector Jatayu Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) is hot on the trail of the two con persons. At first, he assumes that the original Bunty and Babli are at work again but when his assumption is proven wrong, he seeks their help to nab the new con team. Initially reluctant to help the police, Rakesh and Vimmi then relent because they are also hell-bent on teaching the new con team a lesson for stealing their brand name. Do Rakesh and Vimmi succeed? Or do the new Bunty (real name Kunal Singh) (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Babli (real name Sonia Rawat) (Sharvari) prove one-up on them?

Aditya Chopra’s story, based on original characters created by Jaideep Sahni, is not very convincing. Agreed, this is a comedy and hence one has to take it with a pinch of salt but even then, the implausibility factor gets underlined as the screenplay is quite weak. Varun V. Sharma has penned a screenplay which relies too much on convenience. Although designed as a comedy, his screenplay fails to tickle the funny bone at many places where it should have. In other words, while the attempt to make the audience laugh is evident in a number of scenes, the laughter does not materialise. Probably, the biggest drawback of the story and screenplay is that the purpose of Rakesh and Vimmi Trivedi to nab Kunal and Sonia is not convincing at all. After all, what do Rakesh and Vimmi stand to gain if Kunal and Sonia are caught by the police? Vimmi’s constant talk about misusing their brand name irritates more than entertains and gives the viewers the feeling that it is being repeated because it is such a weak link in the drama. Their anger and feeling of humiliation that someone is misusing their brand name also look contrived. Another drawback of the screenplay is that police officer Jatayu Singh seeks their help to nab Kunal and Sonia, then prevents them from taking steps, and later on, insults and instigates them to take further steps in the belief that the barbs will prompt them to do their best. Clearly, Jatayu Singh doesn’t know what he wants or, at least, how he wants what he wants! Another minus point: Rakesh and Vimmi’s money-laundering game plan is childish and to imagine such smart con persons as Kunal and Sonia to be taken in by it looks unpalatable. The ‘romantic’ track of Rakesh and Vimmi’s son, Pappu, with Rinku (Mahi Soni) is not at all funny. They talk to each other like grown-ups, which gets on people’s nerves. Equally irritating is the conversation between Jatayu Singh and Pappu because the latter speaks like a grown-up who has the experience of a 50-year-old! The beach scene of Vimmi, when Rakesh gives Sonia a massage, is far from being funny which is what it ought to have been. In other words, the screenplay has very few fun moments but a number of dull moments. Varun V. Sharma’s dialogues are so-so at most of the places but entertaining only at times.

Saif Ali Khan performs ably as Rakesh Trivedi. Rani Mukerji is good as Vimmi, more so in the latter part of the film. In the initial reels, her performance (and her introductory dance) does not look in synch with her seniority. Siddhant Chaturvedi is pretty effective as Kunal. Sharvari springs a surprise in her debut role as Sonia. She is free in front of the camera and a very natural actress. She looks quite hot. Pankaj Tripathi is good but he should guard against getting repetitive. In some scenes, his mannerisms and dialogue delivery get monotonous. Master Agrim Mittal has his moments as he performs ably. Baby Mahi Soni is alright. Rajiv Gupta lends fine support as Jatayu Singh’s assistant. Mohit Baghel shines as Golu. Brijendra Kala, Yashpal Sharma, Gopal Dutt, Inderpal Singh (as Kunal and Sonia’s friend) and Sapna Sand (as Pyari Didi) lend very good support. Prem Chopra, Asrani, Neeraj Sood, Ruchita Tahiliani (as the female news anchor), Girish Thapar, Bharat Bhatia, Sourabh Sharma and Kunal Kapoor are adequate. Others do as desired.

Varun V. Sharma’s debut-making direction is fair. But he has not been able to create a laugh-riot which was what was needed. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is a letdown. None of the songs has a hit tune. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are ordinary. Vaibhavi Merchant’s choreography is average. Julius Packiam’s background music is not up to the mark. Cinematography (Gavemic U. Ary; additional cinematography by Anil Mehta and Vikas Sivaraman) is very good. Parvez Shaikh’s action and stunt scenes are alright. Rajat Poddar’s production designing and Kailash Sahu’s art direction are of a good standard. Preetisheel Singh D’Souza’s prosthetic designing deserves mention. Aarif Sheikh’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Bunty Aur Babli 2 is not a worthy successor to the original and will not be able to entertain the audience enough for the box-office returns to be substantial. It is another thing that the producers may have already recovered their cost from non-theatrical revenues.

Released on 19-11-’21 at Inox (daily 7 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Yash Raj Film Distributors. Publicity: good. Opening: dull, considering that it’s a holiday. …….Also released all over. Opening was not up to the mark at most of the places.